Three Lodi firefighters earned a promotion to engineer and Gene Stoddart was moved up from captain to battalion chief on Wednesday morning at Carnegie Forum.
“Seeing people grow is one of the most enjoyable parts of my job,” said Fire Chief Kevin Donnelly. “I’m also happy to finally fill the ranks of engineer.”
Craig Mintz, Jon Pittman and Ryan Walker were all honored during the brief ceremony. Firefighters from around the community and city leaders attended the event.
The three engineers will be assigned stations in the coming days. Their new job will include driving the department’s fire trucks to emergency calls.
The 10-minute ceremony also featured the promotion of Stoddart, who has been with the department since 2003. As battalion chief, Stoddart will oversee the operations of five fire departments, a job he said will be an honor and a challenge.
A lighthearted moment during the ceremony came when Pittman’s wife, Heidi Pittman, pinned the engineer badge on her husband’s uniform. After the new badge was affixed to his shirt, Jon Pittman gave his wife a pat on the shoulder, drawing laughter from the audience.
“You can kiss her, it’s OK,” Donnelly said.
The couple kissed when they returned to their seats, drawing applause from the audience.
Contact reporter Jordan Guinn at firstname.lastname@example.org.