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Grass Valley Fire hires new firefighter, loses one to Sacramento

New Grass Valley fire fighter Dillon Coward poses next to a fire engine at fire station 2 located on Sierra College Drive.
Submitted to The Union |

Through the use of Measure N funds, the Grass Valley Fire Department has hired a new firefighter to serve out of Station 2 located on the 200 block of Sierra College Drive.

A Grass Valley native and U.S. Navy veteran, firefighter Dillon Coward was hired earlier this month after previously interning with Grass Valley Fire, and graduating from the Sierra College Fire Academy.

Coward, 26, is Grass Valley’s final Measure N staff hire, and is a welcome addition to the department, said Fire Chief Mark Buttron.



“The firefighters, with the passage of Measure N, give us the support and increased ability for our staffing which assists us in our daily operations in the myriad of things that we do,” Buttron said. “He’s working out very well for us. He’s a great hire. Very solid.”

According to Buttron, a local firefighter of seven years left Station 2 on March 11 to take up a position at Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District.




While Buttron plans to fill the position by the end of the month, the acquisition of Dillon gives the department some needed staffing.

“It balances our shifts and gives them more ability when they do go to a fire to take care of the more labor-intensive tactical operations,” Buttron said. “Rather than waiting for another engine to arrive, they’ll have the staffing in their engine to do it … You can see the advantage in that, the work is done much faster and the results are typically better.”

Coward said it’s been his dream to serve as a firefighter in his hometown.

“I went out right to the military after high school and kind of saw the world,” he said. “I realized I liked it back here. It’s got pretty much everything you could want, and it’s a laid-back community … This is a great department, and everybody does as much as they can for the community.”

Buttron is also moving forward with purchasing a new fire engine for Station 1 with Measure N funds.

The Kovatch Mobile Equipment engine will cost around $485,000, and will be a similar engine to the one transported to Station 2 in mid-February. The engine will be available for use by the end of January 2016.

“This engine’s going to be a little different from the one we purchased for Station 2,” said firefighter Orion Clemens. “Down here at Station 1, because we respond to different calls, we have a little bit more wildland threat and go out of the city limits. That engine will be set up more for wildfires, the biggest difference being it’ll have an auxiliary engine on it to pump for wildland fires.”

To contact Staff Writer Ivan Natividad, email inatividad@theunion.com or call 530-477-4236.


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