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February 10, 2010 > Firefighter of the Year

Firefighter of the Year

Submitted By Hayward Chamber of Commerce
Photos By Simon Wong

Hayward Chamber of Commerce honored Apparatus Operator Gary Bisagno with its Firefighter of the Year Award at its Annual Gala on January 30 at California State University, East Bay.

Garry Bisagno joined Hayward Fire Department in 1981, was promoted to Apparatus Operator in 1998 and has fulfilled that role to the present day. When one thinks of an Apparatus Operator, Bisagno comes to mind. The City's Mural Program includes a mural, beside the movie theater, depicting him driving Truck 1 with hands on the steering wheel at 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock (including a small patch of grey hair and "A Shift" mustache).

Bisgano is a leader in the Fire Department. He is nicknamed "Elmer," after Elmer's Glue, because he holds Station No. 1 together. In 1996, he was awarded the distinguished Firefighter's Cross with other members of Station No. 2 for bravery and courage at the fire on Thomas Avenue where Bisgano helped rescue two children from a blazing house.

He is unremitting in his care for his engine and equipment, a mentor for other Apparatus Operators and chairs the Apparatus Operators' Committee.

Bisagno is heavily involved with community activities. He assists with charity events organized by Hayward Firefighters Local 1909, including scholarships for local high school students and Toys for Tots.

He is married to Lisa and they have three children, Nick, Trevor and Kailey. He is a Little League Commissioner, involved with 4-H, soccer, swimming, wrestling, water polo, basketball, clarinet, guitar and violin. His interest is to inspire young people to learn and grow.

Bisagno is a role model for his family, Hayward Fire Department and the community he serves.

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