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Mon, Sept. 16

Trio receives top employee honors from City of Prescott

PRESCOTT – In a rare move, the City of Prescott awarded its top honor to three employees this week.

At the Prescott City Council meeting on Tuesday, the city's Gold PACE (Prescott Achievement of Civic Excellence) awards went to Police Officer Gayle Ramirez, Building Department Director Dave Fizzell, and Fire Battalion Chief Tim McElwee.

The award, which goes to employees who have gone beyond the call of duty, comes with a $100 cash bonus, an engraved plaque, a listing on the Wall of Merit at Prescott City Hall, and a day off with pay.

The heads of the various departments announced the honors during the City Council meeting.

In making the award to Fizzell, Community Development Director Tom Guice noted that the long-time building official had received a number of state honors this year.

"You are being recognized for your accomplishments in the building in-dustry during the past year, including the prestigious Building Official of the Year Award that you re-ceived in July 2004 from the Arizona Building Officials," Guice said.

Fizzell's other achievements include: serving on the National Code Review Committee of the International Code Council, establishing portions of the International Building Code, serving as chairman of Arizona Building Officials, and working as manager of the building division of the city's Commun-ity Development Depart-ment.

In addition, Guice said, Fizzell has "demonstrated and modeled the City of Prescott's values" through his "teamwork and sense of responsibility shown while striving to improve and make the city a better place to work and live."

In making the award to Ramirez, Police Chief Robert Reed noted that Ramirez' work as a Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) officer had touched "literally hundreds, thousands of kids." Reed added that he measures the impact of Ramirez' work "by the people who come back and tell me that Gayle has impacted their lives."

Ramirez' achievements during the past year have included the prestigious John F. Pope Award, named for the founder of Arizona's DARE program.

"The passion and enthusiasm you show while delivering your message in both public and private schools ensures the success of the DARE program and demonstrates your care and concern for the youth of our community," Ramirez' commendation stated.

In making the award to McElwee, Fire Chief Darrell Willis stressed the firefighter's family connection to the job, noting that four generations of McElwee's family have worked in the field, for a combination of 140 years of fire service.

McElwee's achievements over the past year have included: Arizona Fire Trainer of the Year and induction into the Arizona Fire Service Hall of Fame, two of the highest honors available to fire service professionals.

"You are being recognized for your work in advancing firefighter training and safety," stated the commendation. "Throughout your career, your achievements include serving on several state committees, including the Arizona Fire Training Committee and the Arizona Wildfire Council."

In addition, McElwee commanded the City of Prescott's inaugural Type II Wildfire Fighting Team, which helped perform fuels management work around the city when the team was not fighting wildfires.

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