New captain in town

tmiller@losbanosenterprise.comOctober 1, 2012 

Los Banos Fire Station No. 1 has a new captain in the crew for the first time since 2006.

Eddie Vierra was promoted from engineer to captain in a ceremony, surrounded by his crew and family, Monday morning at the station.

“It’s a childhood dream, to be a firefighter,” Vierra said. “Once I got older, being a career fire captain was my goal.”

Vierra’s firefighting career stretches 22 years, half of that time as a volunteer and the rest on the job.

A 1989 Los Banos High School graduate, Vierra was born and raised in Los Banos. His wife, Sarah, pinned the badge and captain’s bugels on his shirt and collar Monday. His son, 4-year-old Chance, and parents, Eddie Sr. and Maria, were all in attendance.

Vierra said he’s served as an acting captain for a couple of months.

“The idea of actually being a permanent captain is kind of a breathtaker,” Vierra said.

Fire Chief Chet Guintini said a number of firefighters were up for the position, which made for a difficult decision.

“I think it worked out well,” Guintini said. “Ed will serve us well and do a good job for us.”

Guintini said Vierra fills the open captain position left after Ernie Petrocelli retired last month.

The station has three captains. Guintini said a firefighter will be promoted to the now open engineer position, and eventually the crew will get a new firefighter.

Enterprise reporter Thaddeus Miller can be reached at (209) 388-6562 or by email at tmiller@losbanosenterprise.com.

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