Costa Mesa Fire Chief Earns State’s Top Distinction

The days of the public safety guys in Costa Mesa getting a bum rush end Tuesday with Jim Righeimer and Allan Mansoor getting the kiddie table, but let’s share this good news about the city’s fire chief.
COSTA MESA.—  Fire Chief Dan Stefano received a distinguished career honor this week, as he became the 32nd Certified Fire Chief in California.
Stefano was presented the award at the Dec. 6 City Council Meeting by Chief Mike Richwine, California’s Acting State Fire Marshal, which also included receiving a set of Certified Fire Chief collar brass.
Candidates are thoroughly vetted through the Office of the State Fire Marshal and must successfully pass a rigorous set of comprehensive performance and professional standards evaluations by a Peer Assessment Committee.  The final phase includes an extensive, half-day interactive assessment and interview by a panel of professionals including an elected official, a Certified Fire Chief, and the State Fire Marshal.
Among the qualifications required to merit the award, candidates must demonstrate  significant leadership and Chief Officer experience, technical and operational expertise, higher education and advanced training, community involvement, professional organization affiliations and recommendations from other fire chiefs and non-fire service professionals.
“I am truly honored and humbled to become the 32nd Certified Fire Chief in California,” Chief Stefano said. “This recognition is just a small example of much greater things that the men and women of the Costa Mesa Fire and Rescue Department are accomplishing and demonstrating everyday in professionally serving the community through our core values of respect, integrity, and compassion.”
The Fire Chief certification was established by the State Board of Fire Services in the 1990’s as the capstone for the State’s professional certification and qualification system. Today, there are over 900 fire departments in the state with fire chiefs eligible to complete the process.