Since establishment as a full-time department in 1989, the Big Bear City Fire Department continues to grow and, under the leadership of Fire Chief Jeff Willis (the fourth chief in the department’s 20 years), promotions for firefighters continue as well. As Willis put it before the Big Bear City Community Services District at their January 19 meeting, “We’re transitioning, to a new generation really.” Before the Directors of CSD, which oversees Bear City Fire, four of the department’s 20 firefighters were recognized and pinned. Firefighters Brian Lambert and Matt Fonda, both of whom started as paid-call firefighters, were each promoted to engineer. Two others, Tony Huefner and Brian Parham, were each promoted to captain following extensive training. While the new captains were being pinned by their wives, Tanya and Leslie, Chief Willis thanked the families of his department, emphasizing, “The importance of family and the spouses can’t be overstated.”