other previous winners

This neighborhood hero recognized a vital need

     and established good teaching curriculum in two languages,

  becoming an international goodwill ambassador in the process!

Manny Ayala’s story is one of commitment to the advancement of education in fire safety and emergency medical treatment in two countries. As a native of Agua Prieta, Sonora, an eleven-year-old Manny became a member of the Youth Committee of the Mexican Red Cross.

Growing into adulthood, Manny sought to increase his knowledge of emergency medical treatment by receiving EMT training and certification by the neighboring state, Arizona. In 1991, Manny immigrated to the United States, becoming the Director of Health and Safety for the Douglas chapter of the American Red Cross.

In 1995, Manny was hired by the City of Douglas Fire Department as a Firefighter/EMT. He continued to enhance his skills by becoming a paramedic. Giving back to both of the countries in which he has lived is a way of life for Manny. In 1997, he was certified as an instructor in Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Advanced Pediatric Life Support. Teaching these skills in Arizona, he also translated the class materials into Spanish, which he then taught to Mexican Red Cross volunteers in Caborca, Mexico. After becoming certified as an Emergency Medical Technician Instructor in 1999, Manny again translated the EMT curriculum he taught here into Spanish, which he has used over the last two years to teach the classes that he has organized for Mexican Red Cross volunteers from 9 cities in Sonora, Mexico. In 2001, the Douglas Fire Department promoted Manny to Fire Engineer.

This neighborhood hero recognized a vital need and is committed to the education of others in how to react to emergencies and save lives. Not only has he established good teaching curriculum in two languages, he has become an international goodwill ambassador in the process. It gives us great pleasure to recognize Manny's dedication to furthering education in life safety.

Since 1994, Arizona has honored a special individual, whose work ethic and performance embodies the character of today’s modern firefighter. United Fire congratulates Manuel Ayala, on being selected as the 2002 winner of our symbol of excellence award.

Manny Ayala with fellow members of the Douglas Fire Department. From the left: Paramedic Jorge Loyaleon, Captain Ray Leatherman, Chief Richard Ross, Paramedic Ayala, Captain Mario Novoa, and Paramedic Joe Alvarez

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