Employee Spotlight

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Meet Fire Engineer Dara Herrick

Employee Spotlight

When Firefighter Dara Herrick was hired away from Salinas by the City of Santa Cruz Fire Department in 2007, she didn’t need a map to get around. Born in Santa Cruz, Herrick attended Mountain School, Branciforte Junior High, Harbor High, and the University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC).

“This is my town,” Herrick said. “It’s a privilege to serve our community, and live where I work.”

A longtime participant in the City’s Junior Lifeguard program, Herrick was hired as a Beach Lifeguard at age 18, and also worked as a Marine Rescue volunteer, Tower Guard, and Junior Guard instructor. Herrick played water polo at UCSC, majored in Pure Mathematics, and is fluent in Spanish.

After graduation Herrick worked as a volunteer firefighter, as an EMT at Watsonville Hospital, and attended paramedic school. Herrick enjoyed working in Salinas, but was thrilled to return to her hometown department, where she was promoted in June to Fire Engineer. She lives in Santa Cruz with husband Colin and children Hannah and Hayden.

“Dara is a superb employee, bringing a dynamic set of skills and positive energy to the job every day,” stated Deputy Fire Chief Mark Ramos. “She’s so passionate about her job and the community, and we could not be more proud of the fact that she is the first woman to achieve the rank of Fire Engineer in Santa Cruz Fire history.”