On Wednesday evening, October 28th, the City of Oakland Park held a Fire Rescue pinning ceremony at Jaco Community Center. The City made history as it promoted Captain Monica Maldonado, Oakland Park’s first Latina, female Battalion Chief.
Monica Maldonado: Oakland Park’s First Female Battalion Chief
Fire Chief Stephen Krivjanik hosted the ceremony. Though it was unlike years past, there were no refreshments, and social distancing and masks were in place, the ceremony commenced anyway. Also in attendance were Broward County Mayor Dave Holness as well as Oakland Park Mayor Matthew Sparks.
Maldanado was presented with a white helmet from Chief Krivjanik, which symbolizes the Battalion Chief position. It’s customary for a higher ranking department member to pass the helmets down to the next rank when promoted. Her family was in attendance to place her badge on her uniform—an essential part of the ceremony. Monica holds a bachelor’s degree and is working on her masters. “There’s no better person to take this position”, said Chief Kirvjanik. “Monica is a superstar,” he added. “This is an exceptional promotion.”
A Progressive and Diverse City
There were several other promotions as well: Jessica Hernandez and Casey Scott were promoted to rescue supervisors. The department also welcomed six new firefighter/paramedics who recently graduated.
One special promotion went to the position of Captain, which went to Jorge Ginzo. Back in July, the department was hit hard with COVID-19. Ginzo fell ill with COVID and was unable to receive his promotion at an earlier date. His mother placed his badge on his uniform, symbolizing a remarkable recovery and excellent rise out of a dark time for the department.
The City of Oakland Park continues to be progressive in hiring female, Hispanic, and African American people to its departments. Showing inclusion and forward-thinking and demonstrating a good representation of the community it serves.