The Montecito Fire Protection District promoted three firefighters with a ceremony Monday afternoon during the regular meeting of the Board of Directors at fire district headquarters.

Todd Edwards was promoted to shift battalion chief.

He began his career in 1985, and worked as a paramedic in both Ventura and Los Angeles counties. In September 1991, he was hired as a firefighter/paramedic by Montecito Fire.

In addition to his paramedic skills, Edwards has a depth of wildland firefighting knowledge that comes from many career accomplishments, including his participation on a Type 1 Interagency Management Team for the past 10 years. As a team member, he has responded to many large wildland fires all over the nation as well as other natural disasters, including five major hurricanes.

He has completed and maintained California state fire officer and chief officer certifications as well as thousands of hours of specialized training.

Edwards continually strives to contribute to Montecito Fire in many ways. He has been the coordinator of past probationary firefighter academies and the coordinator of the district’s Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) program. He also authored the district’s Technical Rope Rescue Manual as well as the Executive Summary on early warning notification systems, which led to the district’s adoption of the HEARO home alert system.

Because of his continued dedication to fire service and the community of Montecito, Edwards was recently recognized by the Montecito Rotary Club and honored with its Vocational Service Award.

He and his wife, Lorrie, have four children: Greg, Nathan, Ambria and Anjalie.

Evan Skei was promoted to captain.

In June 2001, Skei left American Medical Response to become a firefighter/paramedic for the Montecito district. As a firefighter/paramedic for the district, he became a USAR medical specialist crew member until he was promoted to engineer in May 2010. During his tenure, he has earned and maintained California state fire officer certification.

Skei has completed more than 1,000 hours of specialized training and served on the district’s Apparatus Committee and Electronic Patient Care Report (EPCR) Committee. He is currently the vice president of the Montecito Firemens Association.

Skei and wife Janelle have a 3-year-old son, Reid, and are expecting their second child in July.

Loren Bass was promoted to engineer.

Prior to being hired by Montecito Fire in March 2002, Bass was a firefighter for Yosemite Fire, the California Department of Forestry and the Moraga-Orinda Fire Protection District. He holds an associate’s degree in fire science and a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts.

Bass has earned and maintained California state certifications as a fire officer, hazardous materials specialist and USAR heavy crew member.  He also completed the district’s qualification process required for the promotion to the rank of engineer. He has served on the South Coast HazMat team, the Mapping Cadre, the Apparatus Committee, the District Housing Committee and the Station 3 Design Committee. He is currently the secretary for the Montecito Firemens Association.

He and his wife, Carly, are expecting their first child at the end of August.

— Geri Ventura represents the Montecito Fire Protection District.