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RVFD Firefighter Heath Hewson graduated from the Mesa Community College Paramedic Program on Saturday, August 18th. 

The college program is one-year long.  28 students started the program and 23 students graduated. The program consists of extensive classroom studies along with hospital clinical rotations and fire department ride time where the students are precepted by other veteran paramedics.  

Firefighter Hewson has also passed his national registry exam and is officially a RVFD Firefighter/Paramedic.

Congratulations Heath!

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RVFD strike team leader Josh Johnson was deployed to assist with the California Wildfires.  Josh was teamed up with the Avondale Fire Wildland Team.  

 

Josh Johnson is pictured here with the team.   

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The Rio Verde Fire District administrative staff recently moved from the Fire Station to the Alexander Homes Building next door.

After the move firefighters installed an AED (Automatic External Deliberator) in the building in case of a cardiac emergency.

Our firefighters also held CPR/AED classes for the many building tenants. RVFD offers free AED/CPR classes for all residents of Rio Verde and Tonto Verde October through May.

The 2018-2019 class schedule will be announced in future Roadrunners. Questions? Call the Fire District's Administrative Office at 471-2304. (Note: In case of an emergency always call 911, do not call the Office.)

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The Rio Verde Fire District recently deployed its Wildland Team to California for two weeks to help CALFire contain the state’s numerous wildfires.

Team members include Josh Johnson (Strike Team Leader), Jeff Staples (Engine Boss) Jamie Hughes (Engine Operator) and Tyler Tinsley ( Firefighter)

The team started by spending two days on the West fire in Alpine just outside of San Diego. After that the team spent five days covering the Cleveland National Forest and two days covering the Stanislaus National Forest area. The Rio Verde team was then deployed to the Ferguson fire where they spent five days doing structure preparation to help protect homes and businesses as the fire approached.

A special thank you to our Wildland Team and to those firefighters that covered their shifts while they were gone. As a result of the experience our firefighters receive on these fires, our wildland vehicles, our mutual aid agreements and our communities are in excellent shape in the event of a nearby fire.

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Rio Verde Fire District Trucks

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Rio Verde Fire and Scottsdale Fire, live fire training at Scottsdale Fire Training Center

 

 

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Burdena Pasenelli, female pioneer in the FBI and former Seattle police officer, dies at 71

 Burdena Pasenelli, a former Seattle police officer who rose to an unprecedented rank for a woman in the FBI, including appointments as the bureau’s first female assistant director and first woman special agent in charge of a bureau office, died Tuesday in Arizona after a brief illness. 

Mrs. Pasenelli, 71, suffered a stroke Sunday while at home with her husband of 42 years, according to family and an email circulated by Gary Pilawski, president of the Washington chapter of the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI. 

Mrs. Pasenelli, called “Birdie,” by her friends, was recalled by former colleagues as a no-nonsense and practical pioneer in law enforcement, a dead shot and a loyal friend. She stepped down as the FBI’s assistant director for finance to return to Seattle, where she ended her career as the special agent in charge of the Seattle division. 

She retired from the FBI in 1999 after a 26-year career. 

“She really was exceptional, both as a leader and as a person,” said Kate Pflaumer, the former U.S. Attorney in Western Washington and a longtime friend and colleague of Mrs. Pasenelli. 

Charlie Mandigo was her assistant in Seattle and went on to succeed her as the Seattle division’s agent in charge. He credits her for recommending him for the job and his success in the office. 

“I knew that all I had to do to succeed was not screw up all the things she had done. If I managed that, I knew I’d be OK,” Mandigo said Wednesday. 

Mrs. Pasenelli is a legend in the bureau, and FBI historians have repeatedly interviewed her about her experiences as a female agent in the early years when the bureau had only a handful of women. She said her ceiling-shattering rise through the FBI’s ranks had more to do with her ambition and drive than it did a desire to be a pioneer. 

When she retired after 26 years with the FBI, Seattle’s Special Agent in Charge Burdena Pasenelli packed up her custom embroidered FBI jacket. (Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times, 1999)

Indeed, she says she went into police work because she realized that women police officers made the same as their male counterparts. That wasn’t true in teaching, which is another career she had considered. 

“I was raised on a farm,” she said in a 2012 FBI video interview. “I could work as hard as any man could, so I figured I was worth as much as any guy.” 

She attended Washington State University, where she graduated with a degree in police science and administration. 

She was recruited by the bureau in 1973, just six months after the FBI had hired its first female special agent. 

Mrs. Pasenelli worked as a special agent in Sacramento, Calif., where she said she had to meet the wife of her male partner to relieve any concerns about male agents working with women in the field. 

She worked a variety of assignments, including violent crime, bank robberies and white-collar cases, before being named the bureau’s first female assistant special agent in charge (ASAC), working out of Houston, and placed in charge of the FBI’s investigations into bank and savings-and-loan failures. 

“Even though I didn’t set out to do that,” she would say later. “I was successful as an ASAC, so that fear of women being ASACs was gone.” In 1992, then-FBI Director Louis Freeh appointed her the special agent in charge of the Alaska office, the first woman to run one of the bureau’s 56 field offices. 

“Everybody has to prove themselves,” Mrs. Pasenelli said in an FBI interview. “Every time you get a case, you have to get results. … I got cases. I made cases. I went on arrests.” 

In 1993, Freeh called her back to Washington, D.C., and appointed her assistant director in charge of the bureau’s finance office, another first for a woman. 

She returned to Seattle in 1996 and served three years as the special agent in charge, during which her office investigated emerging threats from white supremacists and patriot groups, such as the Phinneas Priesthood, and endured a period when Seattle led the nation in bank robberies. 

Ron Bone, a retired Seattle FBI special agent and friend, said he never met a fellow agent “who did not respect Birdie as the boss and were proud to have her be the public face of the office.”

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