John R. Hawkins:
CAL FIRE Riverside Unit Chief and
Riverside County Fire Chief
2006 to Present
Hawkins is the Fire Chief for the CAL FIRE Riverside Unit and the Riverside
County Fire Department. Chief Hawkins was appointed as the Riverside County
Fire Chief on August 1, 2006. The Riverside County Board of Supervisors
selected and approved of Chief Hawkins for the County Fire Chief's position and
assisted CAL FIRE in selecting the Chief.
Hawkins oversees the integrated, cooperative, regional fire protection system with
97 fire stations, three camps, one air attack base and nearly 1,700 total
personnel who responded to nearly 130,000 emergencies during 2012. Hawkins also
serves as the Riverside County Operational Area Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid
Coordinator and President of the Riverside County Fire Chief’s Association.
Hawkins is recognized
by the Center for Public Safety Excellence as a Chief Fire Officer (CFO),
certified California Fire Chief, certified Chief Fire Officer and a graduate of
the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer Program.
This is Chief
Hawkins’ 50th year with CAL FIRE. He began his career with CAL FIRE in 1964 as
a seasonal firefighter. He has worked through the ranks and held a variety of
positions providing him with a well-rounded and diverse background. He
understands the complexities of Riverside County and is prepared to meet the
challenges of providing emergency services to the citizens we protect. During
2003, he served as the incident commander for the 2003 San Diego County Cedar
Fire that burned 273,000 acres. He has overseen many Riverside County
emergencies, developed and instructed many training courses, and participated
on many fire service improvement projects.
Hawkins’ three sons have followed him in the fire service. Hawkins is driven to
improve operational excellence and leadership within the fire service. He
frequently speaks before fire service groups advocating for improved incident
command and strong interpersonal leadership.