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Tahoe Douglas Fire News



TDFD.ceremony.27Battalion Chief Rich Nalder (right) awarded Captain Chuck Salerno (left) a bronze helmet to acknowledge Salerno’s 25 years of Service with TDFPD. Salerno grew up with family friends in the fire service and knew at 18 years old that he wanted to become a firefighter. After high school, he enrolled in community college as a math major, and after completing an EMT class, immediately started testing for fire agencies. At 20 years old, he attended Fire Academy at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria. With his Firefighter I certificate, he continued testing and realized that agencies were looking for firefighter/paramedics. He secured a position as an ambulance attendant for Santa Clarita Ambulance service, and applied to paramedic school at Daniel Freeman Paramedic School. Before he could attend paramedic school that year, he was hired by TDFPD. He later attended paramedic school and served in the position of Firefighter/Paramedic for more than 11 years. Always an avid learner, Captain Salerno has an AS Degree in Biology, AS Degree in Fire Science, a Certificate of Achievement - Fire Technology and a BS Degree in Fire Administration.

A call that was particularly memorable for Captain Salerno happened early in his career when his crew was called to Harvey’s Lake Tahoe Hotel and Casino to aid a window washer who had “frozen” while hanging on a rope and washing windows and could not get himself down. Using the ladder truck, the crew was able to secure the man and lower him down to safety. Once on the ground, the guy dropped to his knees, kissed the ground, and declared that window washing was NOT the career for him! “After having spent hours training and conducting drills with the ladder truck, it was rewarding to be able to put those acquired skills to use to bring a scary situation to a positive close” said Captain Salerno.


Governor Sandoval signed into law a bill strengthening penalties for willful crimes against first responders. The signing was witnessed by local fire agencies. In this photo is TDFPD Engine 25 – B Shift (front row left) Engineer Ben Pratt, Firefighter/Paramedic Scott Vizzusi, and Captain Chris Peterson (rear row left).

SB 541: Penalties for Willful Crimes Against First Responders
Provides that any person who willfully commits certain crimes against a first responder, because of the victim’s job as a first responder, may, in addition to the term of imprisonment prescribed by statute for the crime, be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a minimum term of no less than 1 year and a maximum term of no more than 20 years. (NRS 193)

First responder is defined as any peace officer, firefighter or emergency medical provider acting in the normal course of duty. (NRS 193)
Effective: October 1, 2017


The 2017 Zephyr Crew began work in the fire district in late May, supporting fuels reduction projects like Compost Your Combustibles and Community Work Days. Each season, a 10-man crew conducts project work and responds to wildland fires in the district, and a 20-man crew is available for fire assignments out of district aiding neighboring communities and gaining valuable experience with live fire situations to help them protect the Lake Tahoe Basin.

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