Battalion 11 firefighters, family, friends and retired Fire Department personnel gathered Jan. 5 at Elks Lodge 1625 in Lancaster to honor the 2015 Firefighters of the Year.
The awards to Fire Fighter Paramedic Matthew Prasch of Fire Station 33-B and Fire Fighter Tanen Anderson of Fire Station 129-A were proudly presented by Elks Director Lenny Guerra, a retired Los Angeles County Division 5 firefighter specialist who served as the master of ceremonies.
Both firefighters received beautiful plaques and heartfelt remarks from Assistant Fire Chief Gerald Cosey and Battalion Chief Kyle Zuniga.
Prasch was a Fire Explorer for three years before he was hired as a Fire Suppression Aid at Camp 12 in 2004. Prasch was hired as a Los Angeles County firefighter in March 2009; he graduated with Class 128. Over his career, Prasch has worked at Fire Stations 117, 80 and 84, and he is currently assigned to Engine 33 on the B shift. Prasch is certified in hazardous materials and urban search and rescue, and he was deployed last year as a rescue specialist to Nepal after a devastating earthquake, where he participated in multiple civilian rescues. Prasch gives major credit to Fire Captain Jason Swan of Fire Station 37 for his successful pursuit of a career in the fire service. Prasch currently resides in Valencia with his lovely wife, Andrea, and daughters Harlow, 7, and Harper, 4.
Fire Fighter Brian Rodela of Fire Station 129-A accepted the award on behalf of Anderson. Rodela proudly shared Anderson’s biography and kind remarks on behalf of his friend and brother who currently resides at Keck Hospital USC. According to Rodela, Anderson always has a smile and is always polite, positive, courteous and professional.
After graduating from John Muir High School in Pasadena, Anderson worked in 1988 at the Pasadena Fire Department. In 1989, he was hired by Los Angeles County and has worked at Fire Stations 50, 82, 12, 11, 19, 76, 93, 82 and 92. He is currently assigned to HM129.
Anderson says his most significant accomplishment was graduating from paramedic training. He has a love of family, church and community. He currently resides in Little Rock with his lovely wife, Irene. Tanen has three adult children—Kenny, Shawn and Tanen Jr.—and three beautiful granddaughters.
Photo slideshow at top: The members of Elks Lodge 1625 in Lancaster honor Fire Fighter Paramedic Matthew Prasch and Fire Fighter Specialist Tanen Anderson. Photos courtesy Carmen Mackey.