The move-in process is gradual for the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s new Forestry Division Chief, Ron Durbin, who was appointed to the position in early January.
Before assuming his new role, Chief Durbin held a variety of positions in the Forestry Division. He began his career with the Department in 1998 as a forestry technician and promoted through the ranks as a forestry assistant to a supervisor and then eventually to the position of acting assistant chief.
Chief Durbin initially joined the Department a few years after graduating from Cal Poly Pomona with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in landscape architecture. To help pay for college and raise his young family at the time, Chief Durbin spent 16 years working at the supermarket chain, Ralph’s.
When the opportunity to switch careers presented itself, he seized it to work at the Department. “I like getting my hands dirty and I never wanted to be stuck in the office, but I always liked to be outside,” said Chief Durbin.
Now with the Department for the past 22 years, he looks forward to his new role and all the ways he can affect change and work with residents: “I’m looking forward to working on the critical areas where we can prevent another huge wildfire and get control of it before it ever happens again.”
In his spare time, Chief Durbin enjoys spending time with his wife, son and daughter. Not that long ago, he even played semi-professional soccer until an injury permanently sidelined him.
One of his first goals as Forestry Division Chief is to create and foster a workplace where everyone feels comfortable. “I want a good environment to work in. I want everyone here to be happy to come to work. That’s important for me and for the Department,” said Chief Durbin.