Skip to main content

Firefighter I/II Class 24-01  *July-2024*

This firefighter academy started on June 1, 2024, and their training was completed on July 5, 2024.

Jace Baker

I am 20 years old. I was born in Visalia but raised in Fresno. I attended Buchanan High School and graduated in 2021. I obtained my EMT certification and graduated from the FCC Fire Academy in 2023. In addition, I also received 2 associate's degrees from Fresno City College in Fire Technology and Business Admin. I was fortunate enough to become an intern firefighter with North Central which allowed me to get a glimpse into what my future could be. In my time away from the station I volunteer as a leader in the Kids Ministry at the Well Community church and run the Games Management Team for the Special Olympics NorCal division. I enjoy spending time on the lake, watching football every Sunday, and snowboarding at China Peak during the winter. I'm beyond thankful for this opportunity to work as a firefighter and serve my community

Eric Diaz

I am 27 years old and I was born and raised in Dinuba. Where I still live, with my girlfriend Alexia and our son Brooks. I graduated from Dinuba High School where I played baseball and football. I’ve earned two associates degrees from Fresno City College: one in Business Administration and another degree in Fire Technology. I attended Fresno City College Fire Academy, class 61. This is where I learned a lot about the fire service and was immediately captivated. In my free time I like to spend time with my family and take trips to the beach or mountains. I hope that one day I could be a role model not only for my son, but also to the children within the district. I am extremely thankful to be a part of the North Central Fire family, and I look forward to getting to contribute and serve this community.

Austin Dudley-Nelson

I am 24 years old and grew up in Tollhouse California. I graduated from Sierra High School and was heavily involved with Future Farmers of America. After graduation, I attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona where I obtained my private pilot license. When the Creek fire evacuated me from my home, I felt a new calling. That call was the fire service to help protect my Fresno County community. I then enrolled in Fresno City College, obtained my EMT and graduated from the FCC Fire Academy. I fell in love with the comradery and the mindset of the people within the fire service. My hobbies include hiking, fishing, and really anything to do with the outdoors; especially if it's with my dog Athena.  

Gumersindo Ariel Lainez

I’m 21 years old and I am from Mendota. I graduated from Mendota High School in 2021. In high school I played football and started at the varsity level in my sophomore year. After high school I attended Fresno City College and graduated from there in 2023. On my free time I enjoy working out, mainly focusing on olympic lifts. Prior to starting my journey in joining the fire service I worked in agriculture, I harvested crops, maintained orchards, and did a variety of other work that comes with farming. I am grateful and honored to have the opportunity to serve the area in which I grew up.

Tristan Melton

I was born in 1997. Raised in the mountains of Clovis, my two biggest interests are snowboarding and riding dirt-bikes. I graduated high school from Fresno Adventist Academy in 2016. From there I attended college in Tennessee and in Napa, with a semester abroad in Spain. I worked for the family business, Melton Sheet Metal. While working I got my EMT license and later on I attended the Fresno City College fire academy at their new campus. I am blessed to be here at the North Central Fire Protection District serving this great community. Due to my roots in the Central Valley, I can say that I am making a difference in a place that I call home.

 Joshua Odahl

 I was born in 1998 and grew up in Coalinga, CA. I graduated from Coalinga High School where I played baseball and basketball. After high school, I attended West Hills College and played baseball for one season. I decided to enlist in the Navy after my time at West Hills. I served in the Navy for 6 years and was lucky enough to see a lot of the world and the country. I completed 3 deployments on DDG 68 USS The Sullivans and gained valuable life experience. Firefighting has been my dream job my whole life. My father was a firefighter for Coalinga Fire Department and I am grateful to be following in his footsteps. I got out of the Navy to pursue my dream. I obtained my EMT, attended FCC Fire Academy, and now I am honored to be a part of the North Central Fire Protection District. I look forward to serving the wonderful community that resides within the District and continuing to better myself everyday.

Zachary Vanderlinden

 I am 19 years old and live in Clovis, California. I am the youngest of three siblings, my brother Tyler and my sister Kayla are all three years apart. I am the last of three siblings to join the North Central crew. I graduated from Fresno Christian High School in 2023 and went straight into EMT at Alert Medical's accelerated summer course. Then joined the FCC Fire Academy in January 2024.  I have been going after this career since the day I graduated high school, and I love it. I didn’t have any firefighting experience prior to joining, so I have learned a ton every single day. Ever since learning what firefighting is all about, I fell in love with the way you can live as one on and off shift. Some of my hobbies are, I love to go skiing, fishing, and floating on the lake. A lot of hard work has been put in over the past year and I excited to work for North Central Fire.

Daviod Vega

I am 20 years old, born and raised in Sanger, California. I attended Sanger High School where I enjoyed playing football and participating in the Fire ROP program. On my free time I enjoy hanging out with family and friends, barbecuing, and fishing. I look forward to becoming part of the North Central family and working towards being the best firefighter I can be for the community I serve.

 Natnael Wagenleitner

Hello my name is Natnael Wagenleitner aka Nati. I am 25 years old and was born in Ethiopia where I spent the first 14 years of my life. I was adopted at the age of 14 and have been living in the central valley ever since. I currently live in Dinuba with my beautiful wife of 3 years. Some of my hobbies include golf, playing soccer, and running. I attended Fresno City College where I was able to get my associates degree in Fire Science along with completing the fire academy. Right after the academy I started my 6 month internship at Station 55 where I learned how much this department cares for the community and really helped me learn and grow as a firefighter. I’m very blessed to have this opportunity to serve the community and look forward to giving the same type of care and love that the department has for its people.

Luis Zaragoza

I'm 22 years old.  I was born in Merced, California and raised in both Planada and Merced. I attended El Capitan High School where I played foorball and basdketball, graduating in 2020. I'm a huge family guy and love spending time with extened family.  Some of my hobbies include being outdoors, whether it's hiking, going to the beach, or just playing a game of basketball at the park. The fire service was something I never pictured myself doing until on day I decided to give it a chance and I fell in love with it.  I'm excited to be a part of the North Central Fire Protection District, and extremely grateful for this opportunity.

Join our mailing list