In a testimony to the can-do spirit of former San Marino Fire Captain Dominic Petta, the San Marino Fire Department was packed to the gills with employees, family members and former employees on Wednesday afternoon as the community bid adieu to Petta, who recently accepted a position at the Alhambra Fire Department.
“This is what I expect out of Dom,” said San Marino Fire Chief Mario Rueda. “You can see how much he affects other people. This is a tribute to legacy of service he will be leaving with this department,” said Rueda.
Firefighter/paramedic Bryan Campbell was driven to tears at the ceremony which he hosted, paying tribute to Petta’s 20 years of service to the SMFD.
“That door is always open,” Rueda said during his salute to Petta, who will be taking over as a battalion chief at Alhambra.
He certainly won’t be far away. San Marino and Alhambra frequently respond to the same fires and other calls.
Petta pointed out that he has served under 11 chiefs during his career in the fire service and welcomed a host of former counterparts who were at the luncheon, which was catered by Pie & Burger.
“I will take parts of what I have learned from my many mentors,” said Petta.
He quoted a song by John Lennon and Paul McCartney that summed up his career, “I get by with a little help from my friends,” he said. “I hope to carry the spirit of this fire station with me.” On cue, the song began to play over a stereo system as soon as Petta had completed his comments.
The mood became more somber when Petta thanked his compatriots with the San Marino Police Department, who he called his “guardian angels.”
“They secured so many of the scenes I was at as a firefighter,” Petta said. “You are so valuable to this community.”