Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty recognized a retired firefighter from the Fremont Fire Department and an officer from the Livermore Police Department as the recipients of the 2009 Firefighter and Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Awards at Haggerty's 13th annual barbecue held at the Fairgrounds in Pleasanton last Friday.
Officer Dave Blake, who won the police award, joined the Livermore police force in November 2002. Before that, he worked in the protective forces services division at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and for the BART police department.
At Livermore, Blake has worked as a field training officer, as a member of the special operations unit, the SWAT team, assistant range master and as a reality based training instructor, a new program which he is credited with developing.
"Dave has a strong commitment to officer safety, identifying and developing training that address critical needs relating to patrol responses with violent offenders; officer safety topics using personal insight, identifying critical tactical errors, and improved planning for officer safety dilemmas," Haggerty said.
Retired Fremont firefighter John Cerruti received the Firefighter of the Year award. Cerruti was hired by the Fremont Fire Department in August 1970, and retired as a battalion chief in June 2004.
During his service with the department, Cerruti served as manager of its Complex Card Program; was responsible for the city's addressing program playing a key role in streamlining the process. He was one of six fire captains selected for the first-time-ever assignment of Captain II in January 1997 and he participated in the development of the operation guidelines for that new position.
After training for one year, John captured the World Title in the "50-Year Old and Older" category of the 1996 Firefighter Combat Challenge competition in Las Vegas, beating the previous world record by a little over 3.5 seconds.
"He continues to compete in firefighter combat challenge competitions," Haggerty noted. "He is considered a role model by his peers in consistently meeting the operational, managerial, and physical demands of the firefighting profession."
Several hundred from throughout the area attended the awards ceremony at the fairgrounds.
Haggerty represents the county's First District communities of Dublin, Fremont, Livermore, Pleasanton and the east unincorporated areas on the five-member Alameda County Board of Supervisors.