ConFire Chief Jeff Carman wins statewide ‘Chief of the Year’ award

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Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Chief Jeff Carman has been named the statewide fire chief of the year by the California Fire Chiefs Association (CalChiefs).

The Ronny Jack Coleman Fire Chief of the Year Award recognizes role models for all fire chiefs statewide, said Jeffrey Meston, president of CalChiefs and chief of the South Lake Tahoe Fire Department.

Carman was presented the award at the association’s annual conference Friday morning in Sacramento.

The chief was also recognized at Tuesday’s Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors meeting, where supervisors praised him for leading ConFire’s financial and structural recovery after the Great Recession and forming partnerships countywide and statewide that have emboldened his agency.

Carman leads a 400-member ConFire in providing fire and emergency medical response to more than 1 million people in a 304-square-mile area in Contra Costa County.

During his nearly five-year tenure, the chief and his staff restored four companies that were closed during the recession, planned and executed implementation of the Offices of Emergency Services Type 2 Hazardous Materials Response team, developed and expanded a joint venture with the Sheriff’s Office helicopter program for short-haul rescue and firefighting and improved marine response.

Chief Carman and his staff were lauded for creating and launching the unique 911 emergency ambulance system called Alliance, a private-public partnership with AMR credited by county supervisors for saving tax dollars and providing improved response times.

Supervisor Karen Mitchoff said Carman has been a “strong voice on statewide mutual aid” at a critical time of large, widespread fires.

“I really appreciate the leadership you have demonstrated, to bring ConFire out of a very challenging situation,” Supervisor Candace Andersen said.

Chief Carman remained humble in accepting recognition, saying he is blessed with  talented staff. He said looks forward to accomplishing more big things in the near future.

“It’s about team building, it’s about cooperation, making partnerships throughout the county, with the Sheriff, or Coast Guard or other fire agencies,” Carman said. “That’s what’s led to our success.”

The Ronny Jack Coleman Fire Chief of the Year award was established in 2000 and named after retired State Fire Marshal Ronny Coleman.

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