Rotary Club Meets Fillmore’s Bill Herrera

Bill Herrera, the Fillmore Rotary speaker, is a State Farm agent, but has also been a member of the Fillmore Fire Department for 26 years. He talked about the early days when most of the firemen were volunteers from local businesses. When they heard the siren, they closed their doors and headed to the fire station. There are only a few firefighters who are funded, the rest are volunteers. Even today 70% of all departments are made up of volunteers. Bill has been an engineer, the driver, a Captain, and later an interim Chief. He also stated that it takes a few years of practice and training before a recruit is hired. When Santa Paula Hospital closed there was concern about the distance for patients to travel, so paramedic’s and EMT’s were added, as well as an ambulance. Funding is still in short supply and because of that late Fire Chief Rigo Landeros and others started the Fillmore Fire Foundation. The Foundation is a place you can make donations; they also sponsor fundraising events, such as their annual golf tournament and grants, all to help fund the fire department for needed equipment etc. Even though the department is underfunded they “get the job done with Fillmore Care Pride”!