Escondido Fire Department
Russ Knowles, Fire Chief
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The Escondido Fire Department provides fire protection and emergency medical services to the City of Escondido and, through a contractual arrangement established in 1984, the Rincon Del Diablo Fire Protection District. A staff of 93 full-time safety (including Chief Officers), 18 full-time non-safety 10 full-time administration, 3 part-time administration, and 27 senior volunteers provides services to a population of approximately 153,614 in an area covering 50 square miles in North San Diego County, California.

The Mission of the Escondido Fire Department is to serve the public and to safeguard the community from the impact of fire, medical, and environmental emergencies through education, emergency services, and enforcement.

The Escondido Fire Department is responsible for the protection of life and property from fire, explosion, hazardous materials incidents, severe weather, earthquakes, transportation disasters, multi-casualty incidents, terrorist acts, and other emergencies.

The Fire Department is also responsible for providing pre-hospital emergency medical care within the jurisdictional boundary lines of the City of Escondido and any agency with which we have appropriate agreements.

To prevent and reduce the impact of the variety of emergencies to which personnel potentially respond, the Escondido Fire Department also provides fire and life safety education to the public. Working with business owners, builders, and others to maximize safety and evacuation elements throughout the design and construction process, the Escondido Fire Department enforces various fire and life safety codes once a building is occupied, as well.

The following Divisions and staff members within the Escondido Fire Department fulfill and support these responsibilities.

Rick Vogt, Deputy Fire Chief
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  • Apparatus and Equipment Purchase and Maintenance
  • Communications Resources
  • Emergency Medical Services Delivery
  • Firefighting Operations
  • Hazardous Materials Operations
  • Mapping and Pre-planning
  • Mutual and Automatic Aid
  • Personnel Issues
  • Rescue Operations
  • Suppression Crews Operations & Scheduling
  • Total Quality Management Service Delivery

John Tenger, Battalion Chief
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  • A-Shift Supervision
  • EMS

Mike Bertrand, Battalion Chief
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  • B-Shift Supervision
  • Training

Art Holcomb, Battalion Chief
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  • C-Shift Supervision
  • Apparatus, Equipment & Facilities

Jeff Calhoun, Battalion Chief
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  • Fire Department Training and Education Programs
  • Emergency Medical Services Training
  • EMS Program Oversight
  • Health and Safety

Jeanne McFarland, EMS Program Coordinator
760 839-5429
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  • Training and Education Records and Administrations
  • EMS Functional Area Coordination
  • Health and Safety Records
  • Public Access AED
  • Inter-Agency EMS Coordination
  • Hospital Liaison

Lisa Bertrand, Fire Administrative Services Manager
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Laura Lacy, Administrative Coordinator
Ellen Villalobos, Administrative Assistant
Jean Wold, Department Aide

  • Budget & Financial Management (Fees, Cost Recovery, Costing of New Services)
  • City Council Liaison
  • Human Resources Liaison
  • Grant Management
  • Contract Management
  • Management Information Systems (RMS/Data Analysis)
  • Policy and Procedures
  • Clerical Support

Marlene Donner, Fire Marshal
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Alphonso Dobynes, Fire Prevention Specialist
Sandra Bauer, Fire Prevention Specialist
LaVona Koretke, Fire Prevention Specialist
Jacob Worthy, Fire Prevention Specialist
Philip Palacios, Fire Hydrant Maintenance (Part-time)

  • Community Fire and Life Safety Information
  • Fire Code Administration
  • Fire Investigation
  • Hazardous Materials Management
  • Inspection Programs
  • New Development/Plan Review
  • Public Information
  • Weed Abatement
  • Health & Safety Program

Jeff Murdock, Emergency Management Coordinator
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  • Citywide Disaster Planning Coordination
  • City Employee Disaster Training
  • Emergency Operations Center Development and Maintenance
  • County Office of Disaster Preparedness Liaison
  • Inter-agency Coordination
  • Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)