Fire Department

Public Information

News Release
Release Date: 08/05/2013 Release Time: 2:29 PM
Contact: Bruce Vanderhorst
Training Captain/Paramedic
951-237-6310
Subject: Jeff Lewis Optimist Club
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Every year, the Riverside Optimist Club honors local firefighters and police officer for their contributions to their departments and the community. The City of Riverside Fire Department is honored to announce that this year?s recipient of the Riverside Optimist Club ?Respect for Law? award (Fire Category) is Firefighter/Paramedic Jeff Lewis.

Jeff was selected based on his efforts with the City of Riverside Fire Department Explorer Post 101 program. Jeff has been involved with the explorer post since 2004 and holds the rank of Advisor. Jeff is a high energy employee who brings a great deal of passion and enthusiasm to work each day. He has strong desire to continue with and improve upon the explorer program.

Jeff has been with the City of Riverside Fire Department for 12 years and is currently assigned to Squad 5 at the Airport Station. In 2009, Jeff was awarded the Medal of Valor for his heroic actions during a structure fire in 2008 that led to the successful rescue of a trapped civilian.

President Joan Letbetter of The Riverside Optimist Club provided the following about the club:

The Riverside Optimist Club was formed 65 years ago to develop optimism as a philosophy of life; to aid and encourage the development of youth and to make a difference in our community. We strive to "bring out the best in kids". Some of the ways we do that include providing over $50,000 per year in scholarships to area high school students; we have adopted 8 elementary schools, providing $1,000 to each yearly, along with bike safety programs and providing 3 bicycles and helmets to each school yearly; we provide 1000 backpacks to each school yearly; we provide financial support to Optimist International to work to eradicate childhood cancer; and many other programs, one of which is the Respect for Law Program where we honor one firefighter and one police officer each year who have demonstrated outstanding work and community involvement, particularly when it applies to youth. We also provide financial support to the winning students in our essay and oratorical contests, as well as honoring high school students who have shown school and community involvement through our Youth Appreciation Program. We have 45 members.
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