Joe Benton Hero of the Month: June 2015


As long as he could remember, and well before he was in the academy, Joe wanted to be a firefighter. He spent many years volunteering with Escondido Fire before becoming a full-time firefighter with LA County over 13 years ago.

During one of the largest fire seasons of San Diego’s history, Joe fought beside San Diego’s firefighters to help save numerous homes and lives. Due to injuries sustained on the job, Joe is now a Fire Inspector.


Thomas Knight: Hero of the Month May 2015


Meet Mr. Thomas Knight. Mr. Knight is a very dedicated teacher at Eddy Middle School. Along with teaching Math and Social Studies, he is a mentor to a special group of students in the 7th grade.

He takes them to dinner to teach etiquette techniques, helps the students learn how to tie ties correctly and purchases suits for students who have to attend formal functions. It’s said that Mr. Knight’s high level of integrity for his occupation and empathy for his students helps him be the perfect role model for all the boys in the 7th grade at Eddy Middle School.

Leslyn Wiese Hero of the Month: March 2015


Leslyn has been a nurse for 20 years and her close friends call her a healer. Whether it’s a person, or small animal, she stops to give the best care to each one with compassion and kindness. Leslyn works in the ICU unit in Arizona. There was a 2 year old that had been burned from pulling a hot pot off the stove. Although the 2 year old was not in her assigned shift, Leslyn heard him crying and went to care for him, rocking him to sleep.

Even outside the hospital, Leslyn cares for close ones around her. Every Wednesday Leslyn has an infamous potluck for friends and family. Leslyn also has a tradition of keeping track of everyone’s birthday. On their special day, they get three candles on the cake representing the past, present and future.  In her free time Leslyn volunteers at the ARC as a yoga teacher for adults with Down Syndrome and Autism. She also volunteers as a camp nurse at Camp Courage, a camp for children who have survived burns where she also teaches yoga.

Katelin Lewis: Hero of the Month February 2015



Katelin is a versatile young lady. She has been a volunteer firefighter since 2009 and currently is Captain at the East 63 Volunteer Fire Department, as well as the Fire Prevention Teacher. Katelin graduated Magna Cum Laude Honors with Bachelors in Science. She is currently a substitute teacher.

 In her spare time, when she is not helping fight fires or helping in the classroom, you might find her portrayed as Disney’s famous “Elsa” for children’s birthday parties or community functions.  Close ones to Katelin say she’s always willing to give 110% and there is not one job too big or small for her to tackle and accomplish.


Phil Arzen / Austin Smith Hero of the Year Finalist 2014

Corporal Phil Arnzen and Deputy Austin Smith are nominated for their bravery, courage, and for going above the call. Both were dispatched to an accident call to where the vehicle had left the road, overturning into a ditch full of water. One of the occupants from the car was pinned under the vehicle, placing them under water, trying to keep their head above it.

Arnzen and Smith then paged for the local volunteer fire department. With no time to wait for the other medical units to arrive, both officers decided to lift the car off the victim, being only option left to save a life. They were able to lift and move the 2,800 pound vehicle, in fact saving the victim’s life.  Corporal Arnzen and Deputy Smith were both awarded a Certificate for Valor and Bravery for their actions.

Deputy Austin Smith K-9 Patrol Corporal Philip Arnzen

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