New Fire Chief Representing Los Altos

Posted on June 2, 2011 by  
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Emergency service (Police & Fire), within Los Altos, are routinely held up as a successful model of professionalism.  The men and women who serve the community have created a indelible bond with the residents.

Hopefully the last thing you will ever have to do is dial 911.  However, if you do, rest assured that an organization designed for efficiency will respond in short order.  I am fortunate to know many of the individuals who provide these invaluable services to Los Altos, and I could not be happier that they stand watch over the community.

Recently, Los Altos Patch wrote about a recent County decision that implicitly impacts every resident of Los Altos: the appointment of a new Fire Chief.  Below you will find an edited version of Sheila Sanchez’s story.  Enjoy …

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors announced Wednesday the appointment of Kenneth R. Kehmna to serve as the new fire chief for the Santa Clara County Fire Department.

Both Los Altos and Los Altos Hills receives its fire services from the county fire department.

Kehmna, who has 23 years of fire service experience, began his career as a firefighter with the city of Campbell in 1987. In 1993, county fire assumed responsibility for providing fire services to Campbell, bringing Kehmna and his colleagues from the city into the Santa Clara County Fire Department, according to a press release on the county’s website.

Since 2007, Kehmna has held the post of deputy chief, first in charge of operations and in 2009 in charge of training. As deputy chief of operations, he managed the four department battalions and the fire investigation division. As deputy chief in charge of training, he managed all training activities to ensure firefighter readiness, the release stated.

“Chief Kehmna brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the position of fire chief,” said Dave Cortese, president of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. “He is intimately familiar with fire service in Santa Clara County and dedicated to providing high-level quality services to our community.”

He also worked closely with recently retired fire chief Waldvogel and represented county fire at the regional and statewide levels, working closely with the California Emergency Management Association and Cal Fire, according to the release.

“I will do my very best to preserve the proud lineage of leadership that has been the hallmark of this department,” he said. “I am excited about our future and confident that the outstanding relationship we have with labor will continue as we face new challenges and opportunities together in the coming years.”

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