Cool mask is a big hit at career fair


Staff Writer

CALEXICO — With his classmates watching Thursday morning, 15-year-old Edgar Quintero slowly transformed himself from a sophomore at Calexico High School into a fully suited-up firefighter complete with breathing apparatus and that universal symbol of the firefighter, the firefighter's helmet.

Edgar had stopped by the city of Calexico Fire Department's display at the annual career fair at Calexico High and had allowed himself to be talked into donning the cumbersome firefighter's outfit.

"The mask is cool — I definitely liked the mask," Edgar said as Firefighter/Paramedic Carlos Romero helped him get out of the suit.


When asked what career he has his sights on, Edgar says he's considering joining the Air Force when he graduates and eventually moving on to the Border Patrol because "my uncle's a Border Patrol agent."

That is a pity for the CFD as personnel there say the Fire Department's numbers could definitely do with a boost.

Firefighter/Paramedic Diego Favila, on hand with Romero at the CFD booth said, "Calexico is growing pretty fast but the City Council is very ‘pro-fire' so hopefully we can get some help."

He went on to explain "On average we're supposed to have 1.5 firefighters for every 1,000 residents and we're below that standard — we're not even meeting the minimum at the moment."

There were some 50 booths set up at the career fair and Calexico High work experience counselor Roberto Gutierrez said all 1,700 students were scheduled to attend.

Echoing the words of Calexico High Principal Nancy Merino, Gutierrez said the career fair with its broad range of presenters from the community was an excellent way "for the students to see that we are like a little village … and what it takes to make that village work."

>> Staff Writer Jennifer Ralton-Smith can be reached at 337-3442 or

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