By Mike Kinney
Growing up in Richmond, Rico Rincon says a lot of his peers aimed for the NBA or NFL.
“When I received my pin making me a Battalion Chief, that was my version of being in the NBA or NFL,” Rincon said. “When you follow your dream, the reward is giving back and servicing the people.”
Rincon, a 40-year-old Richmond native who is one of the most recognizable members of the Richmond Fire Department due to his ample community involvement, was promoted to Battalion Chief of the Fire Department effective Dec. 14.
An El Cerrito High graduate, Rincon’s career path involves decades of service to the community that began as a cadet in the Richmond Fire Department’s Youth Academy, where he currently serves as executive director. Rincon joined the RFD in 2002 and has served the department as firefighter, engineer, and fire captain for hte past 20 years, according to the city.
Rincon also has over 15 years experience as a hazardous materials specialist, working in developing automatic aid agreements, developing fire response districts and working in the Emergency Operations Center during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As Batallion Chief, Rincon will work in the operations division as an incident commander managing complex incidents and large-scale emergencies, conducting department training and serving as the Fire Department’s public information officer.
“Rico is a prime example of having been a member of the Richmond Youth Academy and living out his dream of being a firefighter,” said Richmond Fire Chief Angel Montoya. “He is a beloved native son, who grew up, lives and works in the community. When the people of Richmond think of the Richmond Fire Department, they first think of Rico because he has that deep connection to our city.”
Community Activist Antwon Cloird lauded Rincon for his passion and love for the community.
“He always has the time and is available for anything you might need, representing the Richmond Fire Department,” Cloird said. “He’s truly a man of the people, who is making a big impact in helping Richmond be a better place to live.”