There’s a new fire liaison in town, as Malibu says goodbye to Jerry Vandermeulen and hello to Chris Brossard.
Vandermeulen is retiring after more than 20 years in public service. In those two decades, Vandermeulen served as a fire battalion chief in Ventura County. He was hired to help guide Malibu’s fire safety planning after the 2018 Woolsey Fire, during which time he conducted hundreds of fire safety assessments of Malibu homes. In 2020, for example, he did a total of 140.
Malibu Public Safety Manager Susan Dueñas praised Vandermeulen’s work to The Malibu Times back in January when he announced his retirement.
“It’s going to be hard to replace him. Jerry Vandermeulen has exceeded our expectations of what we had hoped for in this position,” she said.
Taking up Vandermeulen’s mantle is Chris Brossard. According to a prepared statement from Malibu City Manager Reva Feldman, Brossard has spent 16 seasons with the United States Forest Service, with the majority of his time being spent in the Los Padres National Forest, Ojai Ranger District.
“Chris has substantial firefighting operational and prevention experience, with his last assignment being an Engine Captain in Piru, CA,” Feldman wrote. “Chris has been deployed in various operational and overhead positions to fires and other natural disasters all over the United States. He has also served as an Incident Commander on many local emergency incidents, and served as a Strike Team Leader on many mutual aid incidents.”