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The original item was published from 10/10/2023 1:10:18 PM to 10/16/2023 12:16:22 PM.

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Board of Supervisors

Posted on: October 10, 2023

[ARCHIVED] CAL FIRE Veteran David Shew appointed as Napa County's First Fire Administrator

David Shew, Napa County Fire Administrator

Napa County, CA – The Napa County Board of Supervisors announced the appointment of David Shew as Napa County’s first fire administrator, effective October 30, 2023. 

David Shew brings an impressive 32-year tenure with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), including 15 years in the Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit (LNU). During his extensive career, he served in several crucial roles, including Napa County Fire Marshal, Napa County Battalion Chief, Special Operations Chief, South Division Operations Chief and Administrative Division Chief. 

Before retiring in 2018, Shew served as the Staff Chief for the Division of Planning and Risk Analysis in the Office of the State Fire Marshal, where he oversaw statewide fire prevention programs and developed best practices for wildfire mitigation. His journey with CAL FIRE began as a firefighter, fire apparatus engineer and fire captain in CAL FIRE’s Santa Clara Unit, followed by his role as fire captain in CAL FIRE’s Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit. 

Prior to joining CAL FIRE, Shew worked as an architect while also acquiring his EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) and serving as an ambulance driver in Mendocino County. His significant contributions have been recognized through awards such as the CAL FIRE Director's Outstanding Achievement Award in 2014 and 2015, as well as a Medal of Valor presented by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2007.

"Becoming the first fire administrator for Napa County is an honor," said Shew. "I look forward to working closely with my new colleagues to help implement the Fire Master Plan and facilitate the delivery of vital grant funding for the citizens we serve." 

Belia Ramos, chair of the Napa County Board of Supervisors, expressed her and the Board’s confidence in Shew’s capabilities, stating, "David has an exceptional track record of dedication to our county and vast experience that will be invaluable as he oversees the delivery of $37.5 million in federal wildfire resiliency grants.” 

In his role as the newly appointed Fire Administrator, Shew will assume a central position involving strategic planning, coordination, and oversight across a range of administrative, communication, managerial, and financial functions within the Napa County Fire Department. Additionally, he will provide essential support to the Board of Supervisors and the County Executive Officer, acting as a liaison and overseeing the CAL FIRE contract. 

Shew’s primary focus centers on facilitating collaborative efforts in wildfire prevention, and he will actively engage with the Napa County Firewise Foundation (NCFF) and collaborate with Fire Safe Councils throughout the county. Shew will also assume a pivotal role in providing oversight and guidance for the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) Grant. Through these various connections and responsibilities, this position is envisioned as a unifying force for Napa County, fostering a vision and providing leadership to create a more fire-resilient community.

To support Shew in his new role, CEO Ryan Alsop has appointed Jeffrey Rogers (J.R.) as the countywide fire project manager. Rogers currently serves as the station lead for the Angwin Fire Department, where he leads a team of 40 dedicated volunteer firefighters and emergency responders. Prior to this, he served as associate vice president for student life at Pacific Union College and fleet/logistics manager for Angwin Community Ambulance. Rogers has a Master of Business Administration from Southern Adventist University, a bachelor’s degree in film/TV from Pacific Union College, and a Firefighter 1/Paramedic Certificate from Santra Rosa Junior College. 

Shew holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Cincinnati and attended the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy. He holds numerous certificates from CAL FIRE, State Fire Marshal, and other related organizations such as the National Fire Protection Association and the International Association of Fire Chiefs. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the California Fire Safe Council and is actively involved with the National Fire Protection Association as a part-time employee, contributing to the Firewise USA Program across the Western United States. Furthermore, he is deeply engaged in a large-scale Regional Wildfire Mitigation Program in Santa Barbara County and is actively involved in structure assessments in Sonoma County. 

“David’s extensive experience and unwavering dedication make him a valuable addition to the Napa County’s leadership team,” said Napa County CEO Ryan Alsop. "He is recognized as a national thought leader in fire resiliency, and his familiarity with our community will undoubtedly serve us well as we continue to prioritize the safety and well-being of our residents."

David Shew resides in Napa with his wife Susan.

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