Chief Jeff Bowman of San Diego Fire & Life Safety Services. Jeff Bowman was appointed as chief of San Diego Fire & Life Safety Services on May 6, 2002. Prior to his appointment, he was chief of the Anaheim Fire Department. Bowman joined the Anaheim Fire Department in 1973 as a firefighter. He...
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Chief Jeff Bowman of San Diego Fire & Life Safety Services.Jeff Bowman was appointed as chief of San Diego Fire & Life Safety Services on May 6, 2002. Prior to his appointment, he was chief of the Anaheim Fire Department. Bowman joined the Anaheim Fire Department in 1973 as a firefighter. He graduated paramedic training in 1976 and was promoted to captain in 1979. In 1983, he was promoted to battalion chief, followed by a move to division chief two years later. He was appointed chief in 1986.Bowman has been president of the California Fire Chief's Association and the Orange County Fire Chief's Association. He is chairman of the Fire Apparatus Committee and the Ground Ladder Committee of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and was the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) appointee to the Operation Life Safety Steering Committee. In Orange County, Bowman is or has been a board member of the Emergency Medical Care Committee, Paramedic Advisory Committee, Medical Quality Assurance Board, and Hazardous Materials Joint Powers Authority.
Chief Jeff Bowman of the San Diego Fire & Life Safety Services
Governor Pete Wilson appointed Bowman to the State Board of Fire Services in 1997. He also was named 1993 Fireman of the Year by the Anaheim Firefighters Association. Orange County Fire Services presented him with both the Overachiever Award and the Monsignor Sammon Award for outstanding community service, and in 1987, he received the Distinguished Service Award from Sertoma. He has served as a board member of Anaheim Memorial Medical Center, where he also served a term as chairman. In 1998, the Cypress College Foundation Board selected him "Citizen of the Year" for Anaheim. Bowman also was recognized in August 1998 as one of the first six California fire chiefs to receive the distinction and recognition by the governor as a "certified fire chief" in the State of California. San Diego Fire & Life Safety Services provides fire protection and emergency medical services to the city's 1.3 million residents, as well as lifeguard protection at San Diego beaches. The department operates from 43 fire stations and 11 permanent lifeguard stations (plus 25 seasonal lifeguard stations), with 1,040 uniformed personnel and 166 civilian employees. Throughout his career, Bowman has involved his fire department staff in the community by sponsoring activities for young and old, including an immunization clinic, a holiday party with Santa, a haunted house and a Learn Not to Burn program. Youth has been the primary focus of his volunteer hours. A founding member, he was president of the Boys and Girls Club of Anaheim Board of Directors from 1988 to 1994 and was fundraising chairman for the Orange County Boy Scouts and Leukemia Society of Orange County. Bowman was interviewed by Editor-in-Chief Harvey Eisner.
Firehouse: Please describe your specific future plans for the department.
Bowman: The first initiative I set out to complete was a review of the organization from head to toe in hopes of creating a restructured organization that worked a little better for my style of management.
In that reorganization, I found several things that were needed. For one, our training division was severely understaffed. We have a fairly large training facility, which was one of the reasons one of the other key issues on my agenda for this first year was to put together a long-term plan for the training facility and the training division itself.
In the approved reorganization plan, we've doubled the number of people in training. A long-term plan will be to establish a highly successful regional training center that can attract fire training participants from a wide region of the United States.
The other thing that I've identified is the need for this organization to develop some long-term planning, i.e., a strategic plan and go through accreditation. Accreditation is not an easy task for any department, but for one this size, it's going to be a significant effort from a staffing standpoint, especially since it needs to be done along with strategic planning. But they do go hand in glove, and it's something that's sorely needed in San Diego.