The Commonwealth's former ports fire chief Stanley C. Torres Jr. was hailed this year as the U.S. Department of Defense Best Fire Instructor of the Year awardee during a ceremony last Aug. 3.
Torres, who is now the assistant fire chief for training at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, bested over 600 fire service instructors around the nation. He accepted the national recognition during DOD's Fire Rescue International Conference in Denver Colorado last week.
According to John Thompson, fire chief at Andersen AFB Guam, Torres is a great asset to the organization and is proud of his achievement.
“As the island of Saipan knows, Stan is a great asset to any fire organization he is in and that is no different today. He has made the Andersen AFB FD a much better department,” he told Saipan Tribune in an email. The fire chief added that Torres' talents have helped the Navy Base Guam fire department, the Guam Fire Department, and the Won Pat International airport FD strengthen their fire training programs.
“We are blessed to have such a talented Pacific Islander doing great things for our department. I am so proud of Stan and his success,” he added.
Torres, who is currently in the U.S. mainland, shared yesterday his success with his family and colleagues whom he complemented for their cooperation and hard work.
“I am very honored to receive this award. but I would have never gotten this if it wasn't for all those who in one way or another supported me. I believe in team effort. I accept this award on behalf of first my wife and family who were always there for support in what I do. My fire chief John Thompson and the firefighters at Andersen AFB, all the firefighters from Guam, the CNMI, and the Western Pacific Islands! Chief Martinez Jacobs from Hawaii and most especially the Lord God our father!” he told Saipan Tribune in an email yesterday.
The son of Rep. Stanley M. Torres (Ind-Saipan), Torres served the Commonwealth Ports Authority for 15 years, holding positions in aircraft rescue and fire fighting, aviation, and maritime. He has also served as the agency's acting executive director for less than a year. He quit the position in January 2008.
As chief of CPA’s aircraft rescue and firefighting division, Torres was instrumental in the establishment of the Pacific Region ARFF Training Center. The facility has trained and certified numerous fire personnel from all over Micronesia.