—A Foundation to Build Upon
As a child, I knew I wanted to become a firefighter when I grew up. Shortly after I graduated Yucaipa High School in 1992, I became a volunteer firefighter with CDF at the Calimesa Fire Station. I began working as a seasonal firefighter with the United States Forest Service in 1995. While off season I was attending Crafton Hills College taking entry level fire classes in 1995 and 1996 preparing for a career in the fire service. In 1997 I had completed the required fire classes to attend Crafton Hills College’s 43rd Fire Academy. This experience really set the foundation I would build upon as a career firefighter. Commander Jerry Wiencek led this fire academy and was one of the most inspirational mentors of my career still today. Through my experiences both attending and teaching at Crafton Hills College, I have made lifelong friends and colleagues in the fire service. 2014 is my 21st year in the fire service and I am currently the City of Yucaipa’s Fire Chief and a Battalion Chief with CAL FIRE in the San Bernardino Administrative Unit. Throughout my career I have had the privilege of teaching students attending fire academies at Crafton Hills College and been a part of developing many future firefighters who are in the position I once sat in. Crafton Hills College has a proven fire science program and has been the foundation for many successful career firefighters. It is an honor and a privilege to serve both in the Yucaipa Fire Chief position as well as having the opportunity to teach students attending Crafton Hills College who are interested in a fire service career.