Klein received an AA Degree in Fire Science from Valley College in 2003; he has also served as a “Set Medic” for the film industry and as a volunteer Explorer for LA City Fire Department.
Becoming a firefighter was a lifelong dream for this “Valley Boy” who grew up in the Sherman Oaks area of the San Fernando Valley.
Following the awards ceremony Araiza said, “Matt is one of the most unselfish firefighters I have met, always totally devoted to the department and what is best for the community. From Day One he has filled in extra shifts so that the city is never without coverage. He’s a real asset to the department and Santa Paula.”
When in 2008 Klein picked up his Kiwanis Club Firefighter of the Year Award he had company, VanSciver who was being honored for being a Good Samaritan who responded to a fire in his Oaks neighborhood.
Soon VanSciver, who somehow had been passed over to be a SPFD Reserve, had joined the ranks and although he remains a Reserve he has become an essential component of the SPFD.
So much in fact that VanSciver, nicknamed Radar for his uncanny ability to come up with whatever the SPFD needs, has been honored before: Araiza said VanSciver “Is an extremely special individual. I can’t even begin to tell you everything he does on a daily basis, and because of that our firefighters have voted for him to be Firefighter of the Year” for the third consecutive year.
“What is so unique about Andy is that he is also publisher of Fire Chief magazine,” and knows many in the nation involved in the fire service.
VanSciver has served as President of the Firefighters Association and has overseen numerous fundraisers for groups that in turn benefit the community, specifically youth groups such as Santa Paula High School Band and Future Farmers of America; the association also helped raise funding for the Military Banner Program.
VanSciver also handles police and fire communications for the city as well as Ventura County.
In addition, VanSciver has helped with grants, as has his wife, Marleen Canniff, who obtained more than a million dollars for the SPFD just in grants alone.