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February 25, 2009 > Interim fire chief

Interim fire chief

By Dustin Findley

Ruben Grijalva, retired Cal Fire director, the state's fire department, will be serving as interim fire chief for Milpitas.

City Manager Tom Williams introduced Chief Grijalva at the February 17 City council and presented him with the City of Milpitas chief badge, representing authority to oversee the fire department.

Williams explained that with Chief Clare Frank leaving, Milpitas is very lucky in Grijalva's availability. He was appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2004 to state fire marshal.

In 2006 the governor appointed Grivalva as director and chief of Cal Fire, the second largest fire department in the country, Williams said.

Grivalva led Cal Fire successfully in the historic fires of 2007 and 2008. His management and leadership skills are a valuable asset, not only for the Milpitas Fire Department, but to the whole organization.

Williams presented the badge, and welcomed Grivalva to Milpitas.
Grivalva said he was honored to be back home in the South Bay, after 4 years in Sacramento with the governor. He explained that 30 of his 34 year career was spent working locally.

"I am grateful for this opportunity to lead the men and women of the Milpitas Fire Department, work as a member of the city manager's team, and serve the city council and community during this hopefully smooth transition" Grivalva said.
Chief Frank left the department in good stead, and he will maintain that until a permanent chief is found.

Fire department personnel were in attendance at the city council meeting. Mayor Livengood commemorated them because they "do an outstanding job protecting all of us."

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