Salina Firefighters responded to St. John’s Military School during the noon hour Tuesday. There was no fire or medical emergency, but rather they showed up to hand out an unexpected award to Sgt. Geronimo Rivera, an instructor at the school.
Chief Larry Mulliken presented Rivera with a Salina Fire Chief Community Service Award. Mulliken explained to the entire school, who had gathered for lunch, exactly what the award is, and why Rivera was receiving it.
The Salina Fire Chief Community Service Award was designed to recognize organizations and individuals who have been selfless in giving to the fire department. Mulliken told KSAL News “they really are silent partners who help make us successful”. He said that only a handful of the awards have been given out since its inception.
Rivera was given the award because of his guidance, and instruction, of the Salina Fire Department Honor Guard. Mulliken said that the department reached out as they were forming their honor guard. Rivera went above and beyond what they had hoped he would do to help them.
After Rivera was given the award, the gathered students and faculty all applauded.
Rivera was taken by surprise with the award. He told KSAL News that he was simply doing the right thing in offering to help the fire department. “I didn’t expect an award”, he said, “a handshake and a thank you would have been enough”.
He added that if there are any other organizations out there that need guidance with an honor guard, or similar type activity, he would be willing to help them too if they contact him. “The more the merrier” he concluded with a smile.
Part of Rivera’s duties at St. John’s Military School are working with the cadet honor guard, and drill team.