Five Queen Creek Fire and Medical Department (QCFMD) employees were recently recognized by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense Office.

Former Chief Ron Knight, Chief Vance Gray, Battalion Chief Andy Marlar, and Captains Kris Gale and Aaron Athey received the Patriot Award for their support of firefighters Dallas Pardo and Sigifredo Castro. 


“While this is a great honor, the award should really go to Pardo and Castro for their service to their country and the community,” stated Fire Chief Vance Gray. “As a department and an organization, we strive to support our service members in every way possible. I could not be prouder of Pardo and Castro for their selfless service. It is humbling to be recognized by these outstanding individuals and it is a privilege to lead an organization that clearly supports our troops. I applaud Chief Knight for creating a culture of support and Marlar, Gale and Athey for taking it upon themselves to embrace that culture of support.”

Dallas Pardo and Sigifredo Castro both serve in the Army National Guard. “Dallas and I nominated them because we wanted to give back for the support they’ve provided to us,” Sigifredo Castro shared. “They are always looking out for all of us as firefighters but wanted them to know how much we appreciate them looking out for our military operations as well. We are grateful for their leadership, the department, and Town.” Pardo is currently deployed to Guantanamo Bay.

The ESGR seeks to foster a culture in which all employers support and value the employment military service of members of the National Guard and Reserve. ESGR provides education, recognition, mediation, and advocacy. To learn more, visit