Home Brentwood Helmick: It’s been an Honor and Privilege to Serve You as ECCFPD’s Fire Chief

Helmick: It’s been an Honor and Privilege to Serve You as ECCFPD’s Fire Chief

Brian Helmick, East Contra Costa Fire Chief

by ECT

Today marks my last week as the Fire Chief of the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District (ECCFPD). In April of 2017, I was given the opportunity to serve as the Interim Fire Chief of ECCFPD and in January 2018, I became the permanent Fire Chief.

Oakley Station 95This article is intended to say thank you to my extended family and community for the patience and continued support through this entire painstakingly hard process. Below one will find the ones who are responsible for correcting ECCFPD’s historical Fire, Rescue, and EMS challenges.

Below are the ones who deserve the credit for fixing once and for all ECCFPD’s challenges.

They are as follows:

To God, my family, friends, appointed / elected Fire Board members, ECCFPD’s employees past and present, IAFF Local 1230 and other Labor Representatives, and ECCFPD Contractors. I start by thanking God (with God shall nothing be impossible-thank you Jesus!) for all of you. Personally over the last five years, I trusted and worked to be obedient to God (stumbling many times along the way) and HE blessed me with The Dream Team. For years, I have been consistently confident that if I was obedient to Him, that in His time, and according to His plan, ECCFPD’s issues would be resolved.

To my Family, ECCFPD Family, and the “Dream Team”, your efforts collectively and perseverance are what brought the concept of fixing ECCFPD’s historical issues to a conclusion.  I thank you all.

To the elected Officials and their Staff of the City of Brentwood, City of Oakley, Contra Costa County, the Towns / Municipal Advisory Councils, and The Discovery Bay Community Service District. Your continued collaboration, patience, and trust over the past five years have been a catalyst to moving the Fire District forward.  I thank you all.

To the long list of Partner Fire, Law, and EMS agencies. Thank you for the years of responding to mutual aid and automatic aid requests and for filling the gap where we could not ourselves. Your dedicated support has saved many lives and property. Thank you for helping us do what we could not do on our own.

To the federal, state and local elective representatives and affiliate associations. Thank you for helping ECCFPD identify what options were available (and were not) at the federal, state, and local level. The education and collaboration brought millions of dollars to the fire district. Thank you.

To the citizens and businesses of East Contra Costa. Thank you for working with ECCFPD to develop the 2019-2023 strategic plan and to challenge the District to explore all options in lieu of taxes to fix the Fire District’s historical challenges. The communities continued patience and accountability helped define the path that the district took that led to annexing into Con Fire.

I have been asked if I’m ok with this transition, and no longer serving as the Fire Chief of ECCFPD?

Although the process is truly bittersweet, I can confidently say, yes!!!! I say this confidentiality because the District’s men and women, that I served with, have demonstrated that they are more than capable of moving forward and into the next chapter or our organization’s story. As of July 1, 2022, the community will be receiving, for the first time in decades, sustainable and acceptable Fire, EMS, and Rescue services.

As the annexation becomes reality on July 1, please know that I’m not going anywhere. I will be transitioning from my current Fire Chiefs position into a Deputy Fire Chief position with the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District.  In my new position, I will continue to advocate for the first responders, citizens and businesses of eastern Contra Costa County and throughout the County as a whole.

In closing, as your Fire Chief, I say thank you to all of those mentioned in this article (apologies to anyone missed), as it has been a tremendous privilege and honor to serve you and to be part of the team that did what many said was impossible to do.

Mission accomplished!!

Sincerely, In His service and always at heart, your Fire Chief,

Brian Helmick

Photo by Art Ray
East Contra Costa Fire
(L to R) Cole Smith, Ross Macumber and Brian Helmick in Oakley
Fire Chief Brian Helmick signs off from Station 94 on July 1, 2017
ECCFPD Engine 52 assist CONFIRE on a 4-acre vegetation fire in Antioch
Firefighters on scene of a fatal fire in March 2020 on Norcross Lane in the City of Oakley
Photo provided by East Contra Costa Fire
Photo taken on March 14, 2019 on Bethel Island

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