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Ronny Jack Coleman – Fire Chief of the Year
– 2019 –

David Rocha, Fire Chief
Alameda County Fire Department

Fire Chief David Rocha is the recipient of the 2019 Ronny J. Coleman Fire Chief of the Year.  Chief Rocha began their fire service career in 1987.  During his tenure he has held the rank of Firefighter, Fire Inspector, Engineer, Captain, Battalion Chief, Assistant Fire Chief, and Deputy Fire Chief.  During the Chief Rocha’s time in the fire service he completed his bachelor’s degree in Public Administration and was appointed to the rank of Fire Chief in 2014.

Chief Rocha’s experience and expertise uniquely qualifies this person to lead the Department.  He played an integral role in consolidation efforts geared at achieving regional efficiencies in the delivery of fire services dating back to the early 90’s.  As a key member of the executive team, he was able to collaborate across diverse stakeholder groups including labor leaders, elected officials, and city and county leadership.  In addition to achieving regional efficiencies within the fire service, he played a pivotal role in incorporating dispatch agencies for a more effective and efficient service. This incorporated dispatch center dispatches not only for fire apparatus, but also dispatches ambulances throughout the service area and acts as the coordinator of all OES Region responses.

Chief Rocha has been intimately involved with exploring different service models for EMS.  He has worked tirelessly to provide a variety of transport opportunities for the citizens served.  He has an uncanny ability to balance the needs of his department and make sure that those needs align with the needs of the citizens and communities that the department serves.  Chief Rocha continuously considers all facets of the decisions that are made and the long-term effects of those decisions.  Currently the recipient is working with all stakeholders to construct new fire stations within the unincorporated areas the district serves.

Chief Rocha is actively involved at the local, regional and state-wide levels.  He is the current Chair of the California Metropolitan Fire Chiefs, a member of the California Fire Chiefs Association Executive Board, the Cal OES Region II Coordinator for Fire & Rescue, President of the Alameda County Fire Chiefs Association, and he serves on the CA Fire Service Task Force on Climate Impacts.  He has been a strong advocate and voice on statewide issues including statewide mutual aid system, participating in the D-RISC initiative and pre-deployment of local government resources. On May 31, 2019, he was appointed by Governor Newsom to the State Board of Fire Services in a seat designated for a California Metropolitan Fire Chief.  The California Metropolitan Fire Chiefs make up the 16 largest municipal fire departments in the State.

Chief Rocha serves his department, the communities, and the citizens of his jurisdiction by truly embodying the core values of the organization which are: members, organization, customer service, strategic management, and regional cooperation. He embodies these core values as well as the collaborative culture of the ACFD, which is dedicated to superior service and excellence. He is committed to the department members, fostering a partnership with our labor organization, and collaborating with their contract agencies. These same core values translate into his efforts at the state level, as well.  The recipient works tirelessly to further the CA Fire Service so that our State’s citizen’s and visitors are served well and safer as a result.

Please join us in congratulating this year’s 2019 Ronny J. Coleman Fire Chief of the Year – Fire Chief David Rocha of the Alameda County Fire Department.

                                               Past Recipients

2018 Jeff Carman Contra Costa Fire Protection District
2017 Mark Hartwig San Bernardino County Fire Protection District
2016 Tracey Hansen Cosumnes Fire Department
2013 Kurt P. Henke Sacramento Metropolitan Fire Department
2012 Kenneth Woods III Humboldt Bay Fire Department
2011 Sheldon Gilbert Alameda County Fire Department
2010 Doug Williams/John Hawkins Rincon Valley Fire Department/Cal Fire – Riverside
2009 Kenneth Massucco Marin County Fire Department
2008 Tracy Jarman San Diego Fire & Rescue Department
2007 Kim Zagaris California Office of Emergency Services
2006 William McCammon Alameda County Fire Department
2005 Ray Quintanar U.S. Forest Service, Region 5
2004 Dave Carlson Riverside Fire Department
2003 Rick Martinez Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District
2002 Chip Prather Orange County Fire Authority
2001 Mike Thompson Culver City Fire Department
2000 Daniel Lydon Fremont Fire Department
2000 Robert E. Marcucci San Rafael Fire Department