Fire Chief James Beery
The Fire Chief's job presents routine and emergency challenges every day. Preparation for emergencies requires far more time than does the actual response to those emergencies. In providing services to Chico citizens, businesses, and visitors, a strong emphasis is placed on preventing emergencies before they happen. When prevention doesn't work, the firefighters must be trained, equipped, and led in a way that minimizes death and injury, protects property, and preserves city resources.
The Fire Chief has to protect every firefighter's life by making sure the Department's employees are highly trained and use safe procedures. Along with the City Manager and City Council, the Chief assures that fire fighting vehicles are modern, safe, reliable, and well maintained. The Chief emphasizes the use of high technology personal protective equipment. The Chief manages the Department's budget and recommends hiring highly qualified employees. The Fire Chief, through the Fire Prevention/Life Safety Bureau, enforces the Fire Code, investigates fires for origin and cause, and provides public life safety education.
The Fire Chief works closely with the Police Department to provide 9-1-1 and dispatching services. He also works closely with the Public Works Department on the purchase and maintenance of fire apparatus and repair of fire stations. The Department has numerous mutual and automatic aid agreements with other agencies to provide fire, rescue, emergency medical, and hazardous materials response services.
No matter how well the Fire Department is currently doing, one of the most important tasks of the Fire Chief is to be sure that the Department is never satisfied with the status quo. The Chief encourages ways to improve training, is responsive to the public, and embraces new technology.