CSFA President's Message

Three crazy, busy weeks...

As I write to all of you I am in Santa Cruz County for our first CSFA-sponsored Fire Control 3 class. Staffed with a local cadre of instructors and facilitated through CSFA’s Education and Training Committee, CSFA’s SAFER grant will allow us to provide this important training throughout California. This inaugural grant-sponsored Fire Control 3 class came together in large part through the planning, leadership, and engagement of the newest member of our Training and Education Committee, Jeff Seaton of San Jose Fire Department. Twenty-five local volunteer firefighters received their Fire Control 3 certificates as a result of this training.

Speaking of our grant, the last several weeks have provided the opportunity to work to prepare a video series with a number of fire service leaders. Our team traveled to the Bay Area and met with Oakland Fire Chief Reggie Freeman and Lt. Nicole McCall chair of CSFA’s LEDS Committee. From there we interviewed Division Chief Heather Marques of Alameda County Fire Department. We then travelled to Kingsburg Fire Department and then Visalia Fire Department and met with Central Division Directors Chief Dan Perkins and Captain Ray Ramirez. Both men offered the perspective of the fire service in the San Joaquin Valley.

Last but not least, we ended up in Inglewood at the El Camino College Academy where we spoke with El Segundo Fire Chief Deena Lee. Chief Lee and I have a personal connection as I was one of the people that inspired her to become a firefighter 20 years ago. She is the first female fire chief in Los Angeles County and Deena in her rare spare time, still gives back at the El Camino College Fire Academy as an instructor. El Camino College Fire Academy is but one of many community college fire academies throughout the state that are making a difference to insure that we recruit the next generation of firefighters.

Along with Chief Lee we were able to conduct interviews with Long Beach Battalion Chief Jason Hosea, chair of the CSFA educational and Training Committee and he and his committee have been doing an excellent job. Next we are able to visit with Downey Fire Department Dispatcher Tracy Gonzales. Tracy is involved with our LEDs Committee and has been educating us to insure that our dispatch public safety members are not forgotten. Finally, we interviewed Captain David Santos of the Colton Fire Department. Captain Santos not only serves the California fire service as a CSFA Southern Director and instructor, but also serves the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation as an instructor on the national stage.

Of course, then the Fairview Fire started in my jurisdiction of east Hemet and from early on I was part of a unified command with partners from Riverside County, CalFire, and ultimately the U.S. Forest Service. It grew to over just shy of 30,000 acres and had over 2200 personnel involved. We did have 2 people tragically killed, but fortunately no injuries to any public safety personnel. It was an excellent example of the California fire service coming together to put the fire to bed.

Some of you reading this might have been personally involved in mitigating that fire and I can’t thank you and your respective organizations for your dedication and your professionalism.

Following the Fairview Fire I was able to travel to Sacramento and participate in the California Fire Chiefs Conference. Cal Chiefs is another strong partner of CSFA and I have been working very hard to insure that there is ongoing communication between the leadership of Cal Chiefs, the California Professional Fire fighters, League of Cities and FIRESCOPE with CSFA. As CSFA president I have made it a priority to insure that we have a seat with all of these diverse fire service leaders and that the message is being conveyed that there are many fire departments throughout the state that are lacking – whether it is personal protective equipment training or other areas -- where CSFA is committed to making sure that we enhance all of these areas and that will only serve to strengthen the entire California fire service.

And so my crazy, busy three weeks brought me to this Fire Control 3 training here in Santa Cruz County. We are incredibly proud of the instruction that these firefighters are able to receive resulting in a state certificate in Fire Control 3. This is the direction we are going and it will continue for many years. I am excited to report that later this year at CSFA work shops you are going to see things like liaison officer classes, strike team leader classes, behavioral health classes, and driver operator classes, as we prepare for our Training and Education Expo at the Pachanga Resort in April 2023. Please visit www.csfa.net and read your CSFA Connection to keep abreast of all we are doing. Thank you and stay safe.

Fire Chief, Eddie Sell
CSFA President

CSFA President
Fire Chief, Hemet FD
Eddie Sell