City Council of Cathedral City Recognizes CCFD, Public Works, CCPD & Burrtec for Response Efforts During Tropical Storm Hilary

The City Council of Cathedral City recognized the City’s Public Works Department, Cathedral City Fire Department, Cathedral City Police, and the City’s 911 Dispatch Center for their extraordinary efforts before, during and after Tropical Storm Hilary at the regular meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023.

Jesus Martinez, driver for Burrtec, was also recognized with a Certificate of Recognition for his role assisting CCFD in the successful evacuation of 14 residents trapped inside a senior care boarding facility along Horizon Road and Adelina Road.

Cathedral City Dispatch Center

The Cathedral City Dispatch Center received 1,395 calls between Sunday August 20, 2023, through Tuesday, August 22, 2023, as a result of Tropical Storm Hilary, a 240% increase in calls to the dispatch center.  The City Council recognized the employees listed below for their ability to respond during an unprecedented storm while coordinating solutions to the 911 Call System being down with internal staff and the Riverside County EMD representatives.

  • Brian Barkley
  • Scott Clayton
  • Rebecca Rodriguez
  • Danielle Tapia
  • Lorraine Rodriguez
  • Maribel Almazan
  • Christina Dugenia
  • Jan De Guzman, Chief Technology Officer

Cathedral City Police Department

Cathedral City Police employees were recognized for their service aiding those desperately in need of assistance and braving extreme weather conditions to keep the community safe and assisting with substantial rescue efforts. Police Department personnel also assisted in clearing vehicles from the roadway and metering access to the streets, mostly due to the amount of heavy equipment units being operated on each street and providing security for the residents with damaged homes.

  • Sergeant Alberto Ruiz
  • Officer Garin Smith
  • Officer Kevin Phillips
  • Officer Laura Ruano
  • Officer Brooke Kohrell
  • Officer Alexander Nguyen
  • Officer Jesus Felix

Public Works Department

The City’s Public Works Department picked up sandbags and multiple truckloads of sand and delivered them to Fire Station 412, which was then distributed to the residents. They maintained the drains, retention basins and spillways located throughout the city before the storm began and worked tirelessly to the remove of mud from the streets along Vista Chino, Horizon, Aldea Vista and DaVall (La Paloma), which had a huge impact on the community.


  • John Corella
  • Deanna Pressgrove
  • Shawn Maddox
  • Carlos Rodriguez
  • Armando Baldizzone


  • Adam Chastain
  • Nicholas Dunkin
  • Ishmael Elizondo
  • Manuel Espinoza
  • Guadalupe Gutierrez
  • Isaias Sahagun
  • Luis Tucker
  • Ronaldo Velazquez

Cathedral City Fire Department

In total, CCFD firefighters have rescued 66 residents to safety during Tropical Storm Hilary:

  • Cathedral Canyon Drive and Dinah Shore Drive (4)
  • Canyon Mobile Home Park (4)
  • Rescues made on Avenida La Vista (15)
  • Successful evacuation of (14) residents trapped inside a senior care boarding facility along Horizon Road and Adelina Road.
  • Home on Vista Chino (2)
  • Date Palm Drive (8)
  • 28131 Horizon Road (15)
  • Railroad tracks (4)


  • Michael Contreras – Fire Chief
  • Robert Williams, Fire Battalion Chief
  • Justin Vondriska, Fire Captain/Paramedic
  • Joseph Richardson, Firefighter Paramedic
  • Derek Wochholz, Firefighter Paramedic
  • Austin Havener, Ambulance Operator/EMT
  • Michael Salazar, Fire Captain/Paramedic
  • Russell Barsness, Fire Engineer/Paramedic
  • Juan A. Ramirez, Firefighter/EMT
  • Kenneth Skinner, Firefighter/Paramedic
  • Natasha Barsness, Ambulance Operator/EMT
  • Nathan Kidd, Fire Captain/Paramedic
  • Mason Hinz, Fire Engineer/Paramedic
  • Diwan De La Torre Munoz, Firefighter/Paramedic
  • Christian Hernandez, Firefighter/Paramedic
  • Aaron Cruz, Ambulance Operator/EMT
  • Richard Valenti, Fire Captain/Paramedic
  • Thomas Lawrie, Fire Engineer/Paramedic
  • Riley Fehser-Wey, Firefighter/Paramedic
  • Jhoana Castillo, Ambulance Operator/Paramedic
  • Austin Rogers, Firefighter/EMT
  • James Taylor, Fire Captain/Paramedic
  • Craig Sanborn, Fire Battalion Chief
  • Zachary Garcia, Ambulance Operator/EMT
  • Sandy Ramsey-Woods, Administrative Assistant II
  • Chance Spates, Firefighter/EMT
  • Ryan Robinson-Herdt, Ambulance Operator/EMT
  • Chad Smith, Fire Captain/Paramedic
  • John Schuler, Firefighter/EMT
  • Christopher Dietz, Fire Engineer/Paramedic
  • Joshiah Maier, Firefighter/Paramedic
  • Cayden Lujan, Ambulance Operator/EMT
  • Taylor Burchartz, Fire Engineer/Paramedic
  • Ronda Guillaume, Administrative Assistant II
  • Harvey Calderon, Fire & Life Safety Inspector
  • Richard West, Fire Captain/Paramedic
  • Maurice Salazar, Firefighter/Paramedic
  • Edgar Corado, Ambulance Operator/EMT
  • Corey Goddard, Fire Captain/Paramedic
  • Blake Cannady, Ambulance Operator/EMT
  • Nathan Kidd, Fire Captain/Paramedic

Local Emergency Declaration

Due to unprecedented rainfall and flooding of local roadways, City Manager Charles McClendon declared a local emergency due to the critically dangerous impacts of Tropical Storm Hilary.

The City Council of Cathedral City approved and ratified the emergency order at the regular meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023. Council also approved $1.06 million in task orders related to cleanup after Tropical Storm Hilary at the regular meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023.

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Ryan Hunt

View posts by Ryan Hunt
Communications & Events Manager 760-770-0396
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