Andrew Freeborn

2024 KCFD All-Chiefs Meeting

BAKERSFIELD, Calif., Monday and Tuesday, the Kern County Fire Department held its annual All Chiefs Meeting. Year-after-year the value of meeting together with partner agencies, before the time of peak wildfire activity, becomes more evident. At these meetings discussions are had about staffing, tactics, training, logistics, documentation, and communications.


Another benefit from having all KCFD Chief Officers together at the same time is the opportunity to provide them with important health and safety information. This year the specialty topics presented were related to cancer and mass casualty incidents.

  • Dr. Derek Urwin, a member of the Inglewood Fire Department, developed the theme, “Data Driven Interventions to Reduce Firefighter Cancer Risk.” During his presentation the reasons behind the extreme increase in cancer within the fire service were explained. Dr. Urwin did more than just explain why firefighters are exposed to more carcinogens. During the discussion he provided information to assist fire departments with interventions aimed at reducing exposure. The goal was made clear, “Fight fire aggressively. Then prevent cancer aggressively.”
  • Retired Clark County Fire Department Chief Greg Cassell spoke to the group about the response his department made during the tragic events of the Route 91 Festival shooting. The wisdom he shared is irreplaceable, as it came from firsthand experience. Not a person in attendance could be distracted as he recounted the events of the night and the many acts of heroism during chaos. All these years later our hearts go out to the thousands of individuals whose lives were forever changed that night.


As your Kern County firefighters prepare for a busy year, we encourage all in our community to also do what they can to prepare. Create defensible space, sign up for emergency notifications at readykern.com, and build evacuation plans & go-bags that fit your needs.

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