CRESTVIEW — Managing a water system for the fourth-largest city between Tallahassee and Pensacola takes dedicated technicians with experience and the certification to prove their skills.

Three such Crestview Public Services workers were recognized Thursday.

Public Services Director Wayne Steele and City Manager Tim Bolduc welcomed Blake Center, Brett Sullivan and Jayce Vanderford to City Hall to commend each on earning his Water Distribution Operator 3 certification.

• Center, a certified backflow specialist, is an eight-year Public Services employee who advanced from a laborer to utility technician and then to his current role. He earned his Water Distribution Operator 3 certification in December 2019.

• Sullivan is a Public Services crew leader who also has eight years with the city, beginning his career as a laborer before advancing to equipment operator and utility service worker. He received Water Distribution Operator 3 certification in January.

• Vanderford, a utility location specialist, has served the people of Crestview for a year and five months, also earning his Water Distribution Operator 3 certification in December 2019.

“We really appreciate what you guys do for us,” Mr. Bolduc said, relating an anecdote about his attempt at stopping a release of water at a previous municipality, which resulted in him tumbling into a muddy pit. “I tried it and was no good at it.”

To attain their Water Distribution Operator 3 certification, Center, Sullivan and Vanderford underwent an extensive and comprehensive training course. Each was required to hold at least a high school diploma and have at minimum one year of experience in Crestview’s Public Services department.

The certification is the first level toward becoming a certified water operator.

The three Public Services utility workers each received a challenge coin from Bolduc in recognition of their achievement.