Where did you go to college? Allan Hancock College
What was your major? Fire Technology
Please describe your career, including official title, etc.? I began my career working as a firefighter with CAL FIRE in the City of Woodlake, assigned to a Type III Wildland Engine. In 2015, I accepted employment with the UCLA Fire Department as a Deputy Fire Marshal I, responding to emergencies that included traffic collisions, structure fires, and hazardous materials response. In addition, I expanded my skills in fire prevention and administering the Title 19 annual inspection programs. Within one year, I was promoted to Deputy Fire Marshal II, where I conducted arson investigations to determine cause and origin. Additionally, I am a peace officer and serve as a member of the rescue task force which responds to active shooter incidents.
What do you love most about your career? I find all elements of fire service employment to be rewarding in their own way. I love that I am challenged every day. The skills I learned years ago are constantly refreshed with the variety of calls I run on a daily basis; one day it could be a structure fire in an apartment and the next day it could be a hazardous materials spill. All the time and effort spent training each day does not get wasted.
Please describe what a typical day is like in the classroom? A typical day starts at 8 a.m. sharp. The academy is extremely fast-paced and para-military. We focus on physical fitness and discipline because it is a very important part of the fire service. The ability to learn, and understanding that the skills learned are life-saving tools are the foundation of what creates a good firefighter. Many cadets believe that simply passing the physical agility exam means that they are physically prepared for the job. Compared to the physical exertion of a full-time recruit academy, the physical agility test is a sliver of what a cadet goes through. If a cadet barely passes the agility test, it indicates a long road of hard work and training before entering a full-time academy. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., we focus on manipulative skills where we put what we learn in the classroom to use and get hands-on training. Being able to perform under pressure is critical. Cadets must always remember that the training staff is there to help them be successful. Cadets are expected to know every piece of information that has been presented and perform the task asked. They will be tested on it every Saturday and multiple other times throughout the course.
What effective classroom projects project are accomplished with the students? My favorite activity with the students centers on the hands-on skills modules. This is where the students apply what they have learned, and it is rewarding to watch them succeed. It shows they have been putting forth the effort of studying, reading the material and performing the task. Hands on activities give cadets the ability to apply mental ability with physical strength and muscle memory. Training skills include: wrapping a fire hydrant to secure a water supply, throwing a 24-foot extension ladder onto a second story structure and hoisting tools aloft.
What was your favorite High School memory? Saugus High School Baseball – winning the Foothill League Championship, 2005.
What advice would you give to a High School or Junior High School student? Never give up on your dreams!
What is on your wish list for the next 10 years? In the next 10 years I hope to achieve the rank of Fire Captain.
Tell us something about yourself we would be surprised to hear? I was awarded a Distinguished Service Medal for exceptionally meritorious service by UCLA due to my role in the June 1st, 2016, active shooter response.
How did you spend the past holidays? I spent the holidays with friends, family, my wife Brittany and our beautiful one year old Vivian Marie.