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Ventura County Fire Chief announces retirement

Ventura County Fire Department

VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. -- The Ventura County Fire Department Chief announced his retirement on Thursday.

County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen announced his retirement taking place in early 2022.

Fire Chief Lorenzen has worked with the County Fire Department for 31 years. He was appointed as the Fire Chief back in 2012.

“When I joined the Ventura County Fire Department as a firefighter trainee 31 years ago, I couldn’t imagine becoming chief. I just wanted to make it through the academy and become a firefighter,” Mark said. “Since then, I have been blessed to work with so many good people who care deeply about public service and our community, and I was given the privilege of leading this great organization. I am proud of what we have accomplished together and know that the department will continue its excellent service for many years to come.” 

During Chief Lorenzen's term, he has led responses to the 2017 Thomas Fire, 2018 Borderline shooting, and the Hill and Woolsey Fires.

“Mark’s leadership has helped build our Fire Protection District into one of the most innovative and advanced Fire organizations in the nation,” said Ventura County Executive Officer Mike Powers. “Mark will truly be missed. I appreciate his focus on community engagement and emergency preparedness. He has assembled an outstanding leadership team that has demonstrated their excellence time and again through the largest wildfires the County has ever faced.”

Chief Lorenzen also testified in Sacramento on the best practices implemented under his command. His testimony led to a one-time expenditure of $25 million to upgrade technology infrastructure and revamp the statewide fire resource ordering system. The California Legislature and Governor have now included $25 million in the annual state budget so that all local government agencies can receive resources.

Chief Lorenzen also worked with the Board of Supervisors and County Executive Office to purchase three surplus military Blackhawk helicopters for fighting wildfires.

The recruitment for the County Fire Chief position will open in early 2022.

Julia Nguyen

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