CalPERS Celebrates Public Service Recognition Week
Whether it’s for the fulfilling work experience or the inspiration of helping others, the reasons why people choose a career in public service are as diverse as the individuals who do the work.
No matter the reason, their impact centers on one common theme: community. Having a positive impact on people’s lives in their communities fuels the work ethic of many public servants. And they do so with little fanfare or recognition.
During Public Service Recognition Week, it’s time to shine the spotlight on those individuals who serve as federal, state, county, or local government employees. This is the second post in our series for Public Service Recognition Week.
Mike Seaton, Apparatus Engineer, CAL FIRE
Last November’s devastating Camp Fire took a tremendous toll on the state. For Mike Seaton, a CAL FIRE apparatus engineer, that toll was losing his home to the flames.
“Everything my wife and I have built together was going away,” Seaton said.
No one would’ve blamed Seaton for ensuring his home in Butte County was safe, especially since he was off duty at the time. But a deep sense of community and his commitment to the public is what drives Seaton to put others before himself.
“Where the Camp Fire was different for me was my family who was involved, my community was involved, my emotional attachment was involved to this fire,” Seaton began. “I could have stayed there, protected my house or my neighbors house, but my first priority is always life. The connection I feel with the community is deep. Living in the community and working in the community changes that role because you’re on duty whether you’re off the clock or on the clock.”
Seaton knows the CAL FIRE logo on his uniform is more than just for display purposes. It’s a commitment to the public.
“When you wear this patch and you step into this uniform and you step on this engine, you are working for the public,” Seaton said. “A mother on her worst day will hand you her baby and say help. A war-hardened veteran will come to you on his worst day and ask for help. That’s the public service that we provide.”
CalPERS is proud to feature the people who serve the state of California in this special series, We Serve CA. If you have a great story to tell about what public service means to you and how you serve the state of California, please share it with us on our Facebook page, or by using the hashtag #WeServeCA on Twitter. We’d love to hear from you!