By Jose Herrera
Signal Staff Writer
Fire Capt. Louie Cervantes, from Fire Station 107 in Canyon Country, was honored for his dedication to public safety Friday as part of National Hispanic Heritage Month.
“It’s an honor,” Cervantes said. “You don’t do the work to be recognized, but it’s nice when you do the hard work, and someone does recognize it.”
The honor was presented by Assemblywoman Suzette Valladares, R-Santa Clarita, who is recognizing outstanding Latinos in her district, which includes most of the Santa Clarita Valley, in conjunction with Hispanic Heritage Month.
Cervantes, a 20-year veteran with the Los Angeles County Fire Department, has been at Station 107 for seven years. In 2011, he began as a paramedic, then was promoted up through the ranks to an engineer, and then captain for Station 107.
“There are three captains for our station, one per shift,” he said. “We each get approved (for Fire Station 107). I’m responsible for my crew, the station, and 107’s jurisdiction.”
The last four years that he’s been captain were busy with numerous wildland fires in the area and the Tick Fire.
“They’ve kept us extremely busy, and COVID as well. It’s been quite the experience,” Cervantes said. “The Tick Fire was caused by an extreme-fire weather day, and it was driven by wind. It was extremely intense.”
“My No. 1 priority besides protecting the public is getting my crew home safe to their families. I consider that on every tactic that I’ve deployed (when fighting a fire).”
Cervantes said he loves the work he does because it’s an honor serving the community in which he grew up, and each day is different with new challenges.
Firefighter Matthew Bentley said he’s proud to see his captain recognized for the work he does. He added that being a firefighter is stressful, but it’s a joy working alongside his captain and the rest of the crew.
“(Cervantes) sets the tone for the station,” Bentley said.
As national Hispanic Heritage Month, which is recognized Sept. 15-Oct. 15, comes close to an end, Valladares is honoring members of her district, including Santa Clarita, who have shown dedication in serving their communities.
Valladares said she and her team decided to honor Latinos – whether they are firefighters, business leaders, teachers, first responders, or anyone else making an impact in their communities — for each day of Hispanic Heritage Month.
“I am almost done recognizing 30 outstanding Latinos,” Valladares said. “We are acknowledging that Latinos are an important fabric of our community and our nation.”