CSFA Board and Presidential candidates provide statements

Editor’s note: At the 96th annual CSFA Conference Sept. 4 – 6 in Rancho Mirage, delegates will elect a president and four Board members. At press time four candidates submitted candidate’s statements, and with minimal editing they are presented below. We encourage all interested CSFA members to attend the 96th annual conference as a voting delegate from your fire department to help select leadership for the Association.  

CSFA President

1 seat, 1 declared candidate

Mike Shrout, Long Beach Fire Department

Hello, I am Mike Shrout.  I have been with Long Beach Fire Department for 23 years, and currently work as an engineer at the airport on the ARFF rigs. I feel privileged to have served as your President for the last four years. I promised two years ago that with your support we could continue to move CSFA forward. 

During this most recent term we have:
  • Hosted well-received Legislative Days at the state capitol, featuring law maker office visits and an evening reception.
  • Expanded our suite of lifestyle benefits including special pricing on prepaid legal representation and identity theft protection and discounts on Ring security doorbells to name just a few.
  • Instituted a plan to revitalize the CSFA Valor Awards
  • Held semi-annual meetings with our benefit partners
  • Improved field outreach with our partner Adapt.
  • Improved training and speakers at our annual conferences.
  • Strengthened our Pipes & Drums Band with new equipment.
  • Launched a well-received photo contest, through the work of our Public Relations committee and California Casualty.
  • Expanded our communication presence with now nearly 45,000 followers on Facebook, and over 16,000 subscribers to the CSFA Connection.
  • Maintained our strong financial position, as we continue to reduce debts and fully fund our Political Action Committee.

Two years ago I asked for your support to continue to move CSFA forward, since we were stronger than two years previous. We are certainly proud of our latest accomplishments, but we want to build upon what we have accomplished and continue on a steady and improving path. I would be honored to have your vote and support in Rancho Mirage, so we can stay the course to continue to strengthen and expand CSFA for the next two years. 

Northern Division Director

One seat, no declared candidates

Central Division Director
One open seat, one declared candidate

Ray Ramirez, Visalia Fire Department

As a current Central Director, I have been honored to serve our general membership and board over the last two years. I'm seeking your support in maintaining my position on the Board of Directors. 

Having been a member of CSFA and the Visalia Fire Department for nearly three decades, I have seen the changes, challenges and accomplishments in the California fire service. The future of the California fire service will continue to face budget issues, changing personnel dynamics and politically driven ramifications. It is crucial that in today's fire service that an organized front of professional and volunteer firefighters unite to ensure that the California fire service continues to progress in a positive manner.

As a Central Director, it has been a pleasure working with our current board, President Shrout, the executive staff and all the members of CSFA. It has been a challenge reaching out to the membership but during my efforts and visits with some of you, I'm reminded of the professionalism, struggles and commitment you all give to the California fire service. The opportunity to interact with members of CSFA in this capacity instills a heightened level of pride to be a firefighter and member of CSFA.

As a Central Director, I feel this current Board of Directors, along with the President and CSFA Staff, have made strides to improve the direction of CSFA in regards to its fiscal stability, political involvement, education /training programs and the overall interests of the heart of CSFA, the individual member.

With this being said, there is much work to be done in maintaining this direction, improving all facets of CSFA as well as identifying the challenges of the ever-changing fire service in California.

I believe implementation of something new and changing something old can be facilitated by the President, Board of Directors, CSFA Committee Members, as well as the volunteer CSFA members in rural departments. This is our organization, and it is amazing that each of us have the ability to participate and help steer the California fire service in a positive direction.

I look forward to participate in this fine organization in any capacity, but with your support, confidence and vote, I will be honored to continue my efforts as your CSFA Central Director to the best of my ability.

Southern Division Director

Two open seats, two declared candidates

Bryan Geiger, Los Angeles Fire Department

I have been a CSFA member for 15 years and have served on the Bylaws Committee. The CSFA has evolved into an organization that requires progressive change while keeping its traditional values.  If elected to the position of Southern Director, I will focus on increasing membership and participation. I respectfully request your vote for the position of Southern Director.

Michael Zike, Beverly Hills Fire Department

My name is Michael Zike and I am seeking re-election in my position as Southern Director for CSFA. Currently, I am a Firefighter Paramedic with Beverly Hills Fire Department and serve as Liaison for CSFEWBC, Pipes & Drums, Valor, and Historical Society. As your Southern Director, I am committed to the challenge of striving to accomplish the goals of CSFA resulting in a united voice for all of California’s firefighters.

Over the past few years, I believe CSFA has taken steps to confront the many of the challenges facing the California fire service. CSFA has started back on the right track in regards to financial stability. I look forward to continuing toward the goal of a fiscally sound organization. I would like to see CSFA continue to have a strong voice in Sacramento, advocating for the rights of firefighters from across the state. I feel that by increasing membership we will increase our revenue and expand our political involvement.

The future of the fire service is constantly changing, and CSFA must be able to adapt to meet the needs of its members. With your support and backing, I am committed to stepping up to meet whatever challenges the future may bring. I would like to thank you for allowing me to serve as your Southern Director. I am looking forward to seeing you all at Conference this year. 
Thank you for your support.