Garcia—who has worked as a Three Rivers volunteer firefighter for roughly a year—said he feels honored by the award.
“I have always wanted to help people,” he said. “What I really want to do is become a first responder. We (the fire department) started a program doing it—training the basics under an EMT.”
By virtue of this award, Firefighter Garcia has been recognized as being a public servant of the highest caliber. In a news release issued by the department, he is described as having made “contributions of the highest level over the course of the past year.”
Garcia is a 1996 graduate of Three Rivers High School. He has been married to wife Ninfa Garcia for 11 years. They have four children, ages 18, 15, 14 and 13.
In his day job, Garcia has worked as an area swamper for the past 12 years. As a volunteer firefighter, Garcia works a lot of wrecks and tank fires on a 24-7 call basis.
He said the numerous car accidents in the area tend to outnumber even the fires.
“I can’t count any more—there have been so many,” he said.
Tending to someone who has been badly hurt in a wreck is one of the hardest parts of his job, he said. Much of it is preventable, often caused by people preoccupied with their cell phones, he said.
A couple of months ago, during a collision between a car and an 18-wheel tractor trailer, one of the victims died at the scene, which he said was difficult for him.
“The very hardest is the young infants who have been hurt really bad,” he said.
He’s not alone as a volunteer fire department. He works there with his two sisters, Janice and Janelle. Janelle is married to his brother-in-law, David Darden, who is also a member of the volunteer fire department.
In the news release, the Three Rivers Volunteer Fire leadership encourages the public to recognize Garcia as an outstanding member of their department.
“The department encourages the community to congratulate Jeff the next time you see him around town,” it states.