Newspaper Archive of
Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
January 28, 2015     Feather River Bulletin
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January 28, 2015

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2A Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015 Feather River Bulletin Chief Cassou named California training officer of the year James Wilson Staff Writer "Have you learned from the best?" Quincy Volunteer Fire Department Capt. John Gay read that six-word question regarding nominations for Training Officer of the Year and immediately thought of his department's chief, Robbie Cassou. Gay went directly to work, filling out the forms and providing background information on Cassou and his training efforts. Last week, the California State Firefighters Association announced that Cassou won its annual award'for his effectiveness as an instructor, service to his department and leadership skills. "Obviously, I'm very honored," said Cassou. "I'm thankful to John for nominating me, and for all those who have been there throughout my career, for taking me in and instilling in me a sense of / "Chief Cassou's technical knowledge, expertise and presentation style is and always has been nothing short of amazing." John Gay Captain Quincy Volunteer Fire Department community and fire safety." The CSFA was founded in 1922 by firefighters from various organizations. Today, the association represents more than 16,000 firefighters of every rank. The CSFA started handing out the Training Officer of the Year award in 2000. For several reasons, Gay thought Cassou deserved the award this year. "Chief Cassou's technical knowledge, expertise and presentation style is and always has bee.n nothing short of amazing," expressed Gay. "(He) has left an indelible mark on my life as a mentor and leader." In addition to providing training to his own department, Cassou facilitates a regional fire academy each year. Firefighters from Plumas, Lassen and Sierra county departments train under Cassou at the Quincy department's facilities. Between 30 and 45 new recruits from 14 departments attend the academy each year. The rest of the county's departments utilize Cassou's instructing methods. "His teaching style is second to none.He makes learning fun," commented Ed Ward, fire chief for the Graeagle Fire Protection District. "GFPD congratulates him on a well-deserved award." Additionally, Cassou spends many of his weekends each year instructing the county's Face the Music Studio would like tO extend many "notes" of thanks for help in the recovery of the music studio, a warm thank you to the Community of Quincy, Happy Happy Joy joy Band, Facebook Friends, Aimee Heaney, Derek Delaney, Jim West Tree Service, Buster Heinman & Sons Construction, music students and parents, the Feather River Bulletin, and my extended music family for helping out in a time of need. Big love to all of you for your support. SATURDAY, JANUARY 31ST Free/low cost dexa (bone density) scan and bone health appointment with Christina Potter, FN[ CALL 832.6600 NOW TO SCHEDULE YOUR i Osteoporosis is a silent disease until a fracture occurs. : Diagnosis and treatment of bone loss b proven to WWW.EPHC.ORG departments. Cassou also keeps a library of training materials he makes readily available for all departments in need. Cassou often travels out of the region to provide necessary training at various California fire stations. Ronny Coleman, chairman of the CSFA Volunteer Committee and former California state fire marshal, described Cassou as having a strong sense of care and compassion for his employees. Coleman also acknowledged Cassou's quest for new knowledge, hard work, strong sense of ethics and concern for integrity. "I interact with hundreds of volunteer firefighters around the state. Early on in my relationship with (the volunteer) committee, I was introduced to Chief Cassou from the Quincy Volunteer Fire Department. I can honestly say that he is one of the most unique individuals I have had the opportunity to work with," Coleman wrote in a letter that accompanied Oay!s nomination. Another large component of Cassou's training methods involves the facilities at the Quincy department. With a limited budget and help from the department's mechanic, Charlie Read, Cassou built a three-story training building and a propane-fired burn training building for fire preparation. Cassou supplements the facilities with various props he builds for.different trainings. "Robbie is known as the 'prop king,'" explained Tom Forster, assistant fn'e chief for the Plumas Eureka Fire Department. "He ha s personally developed not only the Quincy Fire Academy training Quincy Volunteer Fire Department Chief Robbie Cassou demonstrates the proper way to use a fire extinguisher for tenants of the Plumas Pines Shopping Center in November 2014. This type of public outreach is one of several reasons Cassou was chosen as the California State Firefighters Association Training Officerof the Year. File photo facilities, but many custom props for use in skills training for firefighting, emergency medical services, hazardous materials, rescue and driver training." Gay ended his application to the CSFA by praising Cassou's skills as a student, rather than a teacher. Though he has already completed the required classes to instruqt, Cassou continuously attends more, finding new methods and tools to use when instructing his students. The CSFA presented Cassou with the award yesterday during the opening ceremony of the Firehouse World Conference, held in San Diego. Quincy's firefighters will get the chance to honor and congratulate Cassou for his award and achievements at the department's Installation Dinner on Feb. 14. C H'I N 383 Main Street. Quincy, CA 95971 (530) 283-0404 Monday-Saturday 9:30am-5:30pm h t