CONCORD, CALIF. – Contra Costa County Fire Protection District (Con Fire) this week announced a reorganization, effective August 1, implementing a number of leadership changes designed to ensure effective management of the District – the scope, size, and complexity of which grew with its annexation of the former East Contra Costa Fire Protection District on July 1, 2022.
Changes include creation of two new deputy fire chief positions, bringing total deputy chiefs to three, with each responsible for overseeing one of three newly formed District sections; three new district chief positions, each responsible for managing one of three 24-hour operational shifts; and appointment of the District’s first woman assistant chief.
“With Con Fire’s annexation of the former East Contra Costa Fire, our District has grown considerably and these changes will support our continued delivery of high quality fire and EMS to all of our residents and visitors,” said Lewis Broschard, fire chief, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District. “I am pleased to announce the new organizational structure, leadership assignments, and related promotions, including appointment of our first female assistant chief, of which I am particularly proud.”
Con Fire’s new deputy fire chiefs are Deputy Fire Chief Brian Helmick, formerly fire chief of the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District; and Deputy Fire Chief Charles “Chuck” Stark, formerly assistant chief of operations.
Deputy Chief Aaron McAlister continues to serve as a deputy fire chief, responsible for the District’s Administrative Section, consisting of the support services, administrative, and communications divisions. Deputy Chief Brian Helmick is responsible for the planning and development Section, consisting of the fire prevention bureau, contract fire services, and long range planning. Deputy Chief Charles “Chuck” Stark is responsible for the operations division, including overseeing all three new district chiefs and their operational shifts, as well as the EMS, training and safety, and special operations divisions.
The three new district chiefs are District Chief Mike Quesada, A shift; District Chief Vito Impastato, B shift; and District Chief Lon Goetsch, C shift. Chiefs Goetsch and Quesada were laterally transferred from previous assistant chief assignments, while district Chief Impastato was promoted from his previous rank of battalion chief. Chief Impastato has served as a battalion chief in the operations division since 2018 and holds a bachelor’s degree from Bethany College.
Promoted to assistant chief to fill vacancies created by lateral transfers to the new district chief positions were Assistant Chief Tracie Dutter, support services division, and first female assistant chief; and Assistant Chief Dave Watson, training and safety division.
Chief Dutter previously served in the District’s fire prevention bureau as a captain. She brings a wealth of administrative experience, along with building construction experience, as the District embarks on multiple fire station construction projects. Chief Duttter has a bachelor’s degree from Cogswell Polytechnical College. She has represented Con Fire and the California Fire Chiefs Association on a national scale at code adoption hearings. Chief Dutter’s promotion to assistant chief is a first for Con Fire. She is the first woman to hold the rank of assistant fire chief and is the highest ranking female in the organization.
Chief Watson has served as an operational battalion chief since 2018. During that time, he also served as the special operations battalion chief. Chief Watson brings experience and leadership from his dedication to the Urban Search and Rescue Task Force Four, as well as local deployments as a planning section chief. Chief Watson has two master’s degrees and a bachelor of science from Pepperdine University.
Con Fire now serves a population of more than 750,000 residents across 553 square miles, six and 45 percent increases, respectively. It delivers fire and EMS in 11 cities and 10 unincorporated areas with nearly 500 employees staffing 30 fire stations with 33 daily on-duty crews.
About Contra Costa County Fire Protection District (Con Fire) – With annexation of the former East Contra Costa Fire Protection District (ECCFPD) in July, 2022, Con Fire now provides fire and emergency medical services to more than 750,000 residents in 22 cities and unincorporated areas across our expanded 553 square-mile jurisdiction. Annexation resulted in absorption of the resources and people of the former ECCFPD, adding 294 square miles of service area. The District now comprises 30 fire stations and nearly 500 employees. Through our unique ambulance Alliance, the District delivers EMS and ambulance transport services to much of Contra Costa County. In 2021, the District responded to some 83,000 incidents of all types, including nearly 43,000 fire and EMS emergencies, and dispatched 100,000 ambulances, conducting more than 75,000 ambulance transports. Con Fire remains dedicated to preserving life, property, and the environment