Categories
Board & Staff

Amber Debartolo

Amber Debartolo

Community Programs Coordinator

Hometown: Weathersfield, Vermont

Why FFAid: Helping people in times of need is important to me, and SDFRA does exactly that. 

A person who inspires you the most: My mother. She has always been a role model for working hard and is one of the most kindhearted people I know. 

How do you give back: I volunteer in the mental health field and am always looking for new opportunities to help.

Tell us something about yourself: I love hiking, kayaking, running, and anything else outdoors. I want to run a half marathon this year!

Categories
Board & Staff

Marisa Nunes

Marisa Nunes

Manager of Operations

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Why FFAid: This has been a dream of mine to work for the SDFRA since I was little. I am looking forward to giving back to the fire community and to help serve the men and women in their time of need. 

A person who inspires you the most: My parents – Arnell and Jolee Garcia. So often when I make decisions, I think of them and what would make them proud. They have taught me to be kinder than necessary, and that generosity is one of the most important things in life. They have led by example, and everyone who has had the blessing of knowing them can attest to that. Love you!

How do you give back: Caring for others has and will always be in my blood. I started volunteering at the age of five with a non-profit organization that offered burn survivors support and education in both fire and burn prevention.


Tell us something about yourself:

Everyone thinks that I’m Mike Nuanes’ daughter 

because of my last name, but it’s actually Arnie Garcia. 

Categories
Board & Staff

John Handley

John Handley

Trustee

Hometown: Rolling Hills, CA 

Why FFAid: I spent 31 years in the Fire Service and loved it! We gave unselfishly to those who called. I can’t think of a better way to assist our brothers and sisters who gave of themselves at their own risk for the sake of others.

A person who inspires you the most:

My dad. It has not always been so, but he has steadfastly stuck with who he is. He’s 93-years-old and continues to be the kind, gentle man he’s always been. He served in the Marine Corps 12th Defense Battalion during World War II and was in the first wave of soldiers during the Battle of Peleliu. He played baseball for the Chicago Cubs then gave it up to raise his family. He’s had a long full life and is a wonderful role model of a person.

How do you give back: As Firefighters, we give ourselves in service to others. Service on behalf of others brings me a sense of fulfillment. In retirement, I’ve found that giving back provides that sense of fulfillment, and so I continue to find ways to give back.


Tell us something about yourself:

I’m married to a wonderful woman, Jane. She’s been a nurse at Scripps Hospital for 26 plus years. We’re husband and wife and best buddies as well. Between the two of us, we have four grown children and two dogs!


I love being active and outdoors. At any given time, you can find me in or around the ocean surfing, paddling, swimming or walking on the shore. I like yoga and I play golf poorly… but still trying.

Categories
Board & Staff

Kenneth Barnes

Kenneth Barnes

Retired Board Director

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Why FFAid: Over the years I have worked with the FFA both in my capacity with the department and also in personal times of need. In each instance, I was struck by the unique and special role this organization plays in supporting the firefighter family. Now retired and an empty nester, I have the time and capacity to serve in this important organization.

A person who inspires you the most: My Mom. She is an amazing individual who has dedicated her life to serving others. As a wife and mother of firefighters, she is a die-hard supporter of the fire family along with being an incredible mom and grandmother!

How do you give back:

Through my church and other support groups I try to give back some of the incredible blessings I have been provided.

Tell us something about yourself: I served over 33 years with SDFD and was fortunate to work in many different areas but my greatest accomplishment is my family. The smartest thing I ever did was marry my wife Erin 28 years ago. The most difficult thing I ever did was to then proceed to have 4 children in the first 5 years of the marriage!

Categories
Board & Staff

Benjamin Vernon

Benjamin Vernon

Active Board Director

Hometown: Santa Clarita, CA

Why FFAid: I was hurt on the job in 2015. I was hospitalized and spent several days in the hospital. The Relief Association rallied behind me and my family. They picked up my family from the airport and then put them up in a hotel. I’m not sure if that seems like a big thing or not, but it was huge for me and my family. I will forever be grateful.

A person who inspires you the most:

Both of my folks are my inspiration. Even though they are both retired, they still work tirelessly to give back to their community.

How do you give back: I am always trying to give back to my department. I have helped by being a Peer Supporter for other members who are in a time of need. It was been a rewarding experience.

Tell us something about yourself: I love to travel and teach. If I’m not working or traveling, I can be found teaching. To master a subject, the best way is to learn it, do it and then teach it to someone else. I love sharing knowledge with others.

Categories
Board & Staff

John Brubaker

John Brubaker

Active Board Director

Hometown: Upland CA

Why FFAid: I  have been a member of SDFRA for the past 22 years and have watched the organization transform and grow from a “back seat” perspective.  During most of these years, I had never found the need to reach out for assistance or utilize the benefits that the SDFRA has had to offer; that was until my family went through a crisis of our own when my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Now successfully across the other side of the bridge with cancer, it is time to give back and show my appreciation to the SDFRA with more than just words.

A person who inspires you the most: My young boys (4 & 7) inspire me the most because of the way they view life.  Their natural curiosity, optimism, unbiased views and the simple joy they find in the most ordinary things are a continuous reminder to me of how awesome life is and how fortunate we are.  They have taught me that no matter how difficult life may seem or when the stress of everyday life adds up, it will always be better tomorrow (or after a good nap).

How do you give back:

By saying “yes.”  Opportunities come along in all of our lives, some exciting, some scary, some out of our comfort zone.  However, by simply saying yes, I’ve have been lead down roads I had not anticipated for myself and have been provided opportunities to give back in ways never before imagined.

Tell us something about yourself: I’m a daydreamer.  When it looks like I’m in deep thought there is a good chance I’m thinking of some wild idea or planning my dream house on a remote island in the pacific and not solving the world’s problems.

Categories
Board & Staff

Jeff Williams

Jeff Williams

Active Board Director

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Why FFAid: The San Diego Fireman’s Relief Association was founded on the principles of helping out our firefighters and their families in their time of need. I can’t think of a better mission to be a part of then wanting to help out our fire family when they need it most. I have always felt that it was an honor and privilege to be a part of the fire service. Now, as a board member for the SDFRA, I have the opportunity to make a positive impact within our community.

A person who inspires you the most: My grandmother, Nettie Williams, inspired me as I was growing up. She was hardworking, educated, and an enthusiastic person. She became a teacher to lead and inspire those around her. She taught our family that hard work and dedication will get us to reach our goals.

How do you give back: I have always thought that it’s important to give back to our fire community. Since joining the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department in 2001, I ran the San Diego Fire Cadet program, I am a current board member with the San Diego Firehouse Museum, and have been involved in various fire service projects throughout my career. 


Tell us something about yourself: Our family loves to go camping. Over the past few years we have camped at Yosemite, Sequoias, Joshua Tree, and Silver Strand State Beach. Our future family camping goals are to go to Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, and the Grand Teton National Parks. It’s a great way for our family to go on adventures and enjoy the great outdoors.

Categories
Board & Staff

Sean Brambir

Sean Brambir

Active Board Director

Hometown: Danville, CA

Why FFAid: For me, it’s about helping others.

A person who inspires you the most: My sister Courtney, she has inspired me since childhood. Overcoming obstacles and not using excuses to hold her back. She sets a goal and executes it.

How do you give back: I volunteer my time at the San Diego 9/11 Stair Climb event. and others. I built and created the #SDFD Mustache Bash event, and 100% of the funds raised support the CAPP program. I also am involved in the SDFD Cadet Program. I am helping to mentor our youth to obtain their dreams of becoming a firefighter.

Tell us something about yourself: I love my fiancé Chelsea and our dog, Kirby. Our main passion is to travel and see the world!

Categories
Board & Staff

Corey Teng

Corey Teng

Active Board Director

Hometown: Pasadena, CA

Why FFAid: One of the best things about the fire service is the brotherhood/sisterhood. In the morning, we leave our families at home to be with our families at work. It’s something that is very unique to the fire service. Being able to lend a helping hand to our fellow brothers and sisters in their time of need continues those family traditions and allows us to give back to those who came before us.

A person who inspires you the most: My mother. Growing up, she sacrificed so much for us and showed me what it really means to take care of those you love.

How do you give back: I’m a Battalion Advisor for the SDFD Cadet Program and an instructor at the San Pasqual Reservation Fire Academy. As a previous cadet, I am certain I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for the Cadet Program. While I was trying to get hired, I had instructors/mentors that selflessly guided me in the right direction. I try to follow in their footsteps and give back to others what they gave me.

Tell us something about yourself: I love to travel and experience different cultures. I’m just trying to add more stamps to my passport!

Categories
Board & Staff

Geof Cummings

Geof Cummings

Active Board Director

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Why FFAid: The Relief Association helps in so many ways already, but what drew me to it was the endless possibilities to provide aid to our fire department brothers and sisters. The Relief staff is motivated and selfless and is an overall great organization I’m so proud and humbled to be a part of.

A person who inspires you the most: My wife Lisa. She inspires me with her work ethic as a second-grade teacher, but even more so by the way she is so kind and caring to everyone she interacts with.

How do you give back: I currently give back to the SDFD Cadet Program as a battalion advisor. I’ve worked with the Relief Association for the past few years at the 9/11 Stair Climb. I’m excited to be a part of future events and volunteer opportunities.

Tell us something about yourself: I enjoy surfing, boxing, welding, and doing projects around the house.