This prestigious award is presented annually to a member of the fire service community in appreciation of their continued, dedicated support and service to the Burn Institute.
In 1994, the Burn Institute established the Pamela R. Kelly Volunteer of the Year Award in honor of late Fire Prevention Officer Pam Kelly, who worked for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. Pam was well known for her tireless volunteer efforts throughout San Diego County.
2017 Recipient– Thomas Santos, Imperial Beach Fire Inspector
From the moment Tom Santos began his Fire Prevention career with Imperial Beach Fire Department, he has been an avid supporter of the Burn Institute. Tom has spent many mornings out on the corner holding the boot for the Burn Institute, but where his passion really lies is with the Firefighter Demolition Derby.
In 2012, when the previous derby guru, Charlie Miinch, took a step back from the derby, Burn Institute Board Member, Chief Bob Pfohl, knew just who to call. Tom Santos grew up racing at Cajon Speedway and had a wealth of knowledge that the Burn Institute could greatly benefit from. Since the moment Tom was asked to assist, he has taken full pride and ownership of the Demo Derby and worked hours on end to make it a safe, fun and successful event for everyone involved.
Over the last five years, Tom has taken on the lead role of “Chief Steward”and created an entirely new consensus rule package, always taking every derby drivers suggestions and concerns to heart. Tom has an open door policy that any team can reach out to him with questions or the need for advice and he will be there.
From numerous months of planning meetings, to the 15+ hours he spends on event day, Tom is one of the most dedicated Burn Institute volunteers. In addition to his involvement in the derby, he is an amazing ambassador for the Burn Institute as a whole. No matter where he goes or who he talks to, he preaches the work of the organization and tries to gain support in any way he can. For the countless hours he dedicates to the Demolition Derby, the Burn Institute is honored to recognize Tom Santos as the recipient of the 2017 Pamela R. Kelly Volunteer of the Year.
Captain Tom Piranio (2016)
Firefigher Dustin Kuhn (2015)
Chief Scott Walker (ret.) (2014)
Deputy Fire Marshall Adam Beardsley (2013)
Captain Mark Waters (2012) Robert Pohl, Division Chief (2011)
Captain Patrick O’Neil (2010)
Engineer/Paramedic Jeff Chumbley (2009)
Chief Erwin Willis (ret.) (2008)
Captain Dale Stewart (ret.) (2007)
Deputy Chief Mitch Villalpando (2006)
Captain Ron Hollander (2005)
Captain Tom Ferguson (2004)
Captain Mike Nuanes (2003)
Captain Daryn Drum (2002)
Chief Roger Purdie (ret.) (2001)
Chief Dennis Van Der Maaten (ret.) (2000)
Captain Steve Ricci (1999)
Captain Arnell Garcia (1999)
Captain Doug Elliott (1998)
Fire Marshal Paul Dawson (ret.) (1997)
Captain Angelo Cappos (1996)
Captain Ed Montgomery (ret.) (1995)
Chief Bill Wright (ret.) (1994)