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Montecito Rotary Honors Public Safety Servants at Awards Luncheon

The Rotary Club of Montecito honored nine public safety servants at its annual Public Service Awards luncheon Tuesday.

The awards recognize Vocational Service, one of Rotary’s Four Avenues of Service. Vocational Service calls every Rotarian to aspire to high ethical standards in their occupations, recognize the worthiness of all useful occupations and contribute their vocational talents to the problems and needs of society.

Tuesday’s award recipients perform their chosen professions in a manner that epitomizes exemplary Vocational Service, said Lynda Nahra, the Rotarian who organized Tuesday’s luncheon.

Senior marine inspector William DeCamp of the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment, a marine inspector for about 67 small passenger vessels in the Santa Barbara Harbor, earned the award for helping prevent oil spills and diver casualties, said his supervisor, Lt. Jeff Fry.

California Highway Patrol Officer Jim Mann has 18 years of experience as a motorcycle rider. He “takes care of business” and “leads by example and sets standards hi,” said Capt. Mike D’Arelli, who selected Officer Mann for the honor.

Carpinteria Fire Department Chief Mike Mingee presented the award to firefighter and paramedic Gabe Aubert for going above and beyond his job description by helping with school job fairs, ride-alongs and CERT training.

“He demonstrates what community really means,” Chief Mingee said of Aubert.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Dave Maupin earned the award for “showing initiative on a daily basis,” specifically in narcotics cases, sex crimes and stolen vehicle cases, said Sheriff Bill Brown. In 2013, Deputy Maupin handled 258 cases and made 104 arrests.

Santa Barbara Police Department Detective Ben Ahrens has served for six years in the child services and gang investigation department, solving gang-related crimes using forensic evidence, said his supervisor,Sgt. Lorenzo Duarte.

Wildland fire specialist Jeff Saley of the Montecito Fire Department “exemplifies what safety is all about” by helping clear 400 tons of vegetation and completing 200 defensible space surveys, said Fire Chief Chip Hickman.

Battalion Chief Jim McCoy, the battalion chief in charge of the Santa Barbara City Fire Department Training Division, has raised the bar of the whole department in part by overhauling the promotional process.

“We are headed in the right direction because of Jim’s hard work,” Fire Chief Jim Bryden said.

Another fire trainer, Santa Barbara County Fire Department Capt. Robert Beeson, is “invaluable” to the department, said Fire Chief Michael Dyer, who presented Capt. Beeson his award.
Petty Officer Luke Shield of the U.S. Coast Guard Black Fin also received the award.

“I want to thank our recipients and ask that they take back our collective thanks to all the men and women who work so diligently to keep us safe every day,” Nahra said.

— Jennifer Goddard Combs is a publicist representing the Rotary Club of Montecito.

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