2010 Awards & Recognition

2010 Rotary of Elk Grove Hometown Hero: Firefighter Richard Ibarra

Richard Ibarra
The Rotary Club of Elk Grove recently honored their “Hometown Heroes” in the areas of firefighter, police, military and education. 

“The award winners are outstanding individuals and true role models, and were chosen by their superiors and peers in each of the four categories,” said Millie Brink, chair of the event.

Plaques were presented to each of the recipients with a sincere thank you for their service above self.  

“The motto of Rotary is ‘Service Above Self,’ and while this motto is meant to explain the philosophy of unselfish volunteer service of Rotarians, it is equally applicable to the ‘Hometown Heroes’ who unselfishly give, or have given, more than their required job to protect, educate and serve our entire community or nation,” Brink said.

Firefighter Richard Ibarra

Honored in the area of firefighter was Richard Ibarra. 

Richard, age 43, passed away on Dec. 16, 2009 following a brave battle with a sudden illness.  His award was presented, posthumously, to his widow, Jan. 

Richard was dedicated to public service at an early age, serving in the United States Navy at Lemoore Naval Air Station from 1985-1988.

His fire service career started in Elk Grove as a college intern with Cosumnes River College and the Elk Grove Community Services Fire Department.  The Cosumnes Community Services Fire Department hired him on July 1, 1999. 

In his 10 years of service in eastern and central Elk Grove he was a first responder and also served as a certified car seat technician.

His officers described him as the complete package.  He was mature and dedicated to the task at hand. 

Rich always made sure to take time to ensure that every probationary firefighter, every intern, every ROP student got the mentoring that he or she needed to be successful.

Richard was the consummate professional and was dedicated to serving the public. 

His fellow crewmembers described Richard as “a man of high character with untouchable integrity.”

He did things right because it was the right thing to do.  He never boasted, but served quietly without expectation of recognition or praise.