City hires two new fire safety liaisons

As fire seasons become longer and more intense, the fire safety liaisons have become more and more critical to helping the city prepare for and respond to wildfires. To enhance Malibu’s wildfires preparedness and response, the city recently employed retired Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACOFD) Assistant Fire Chief Greg Hisel and retired LACOFD Firefighter Paramedic Brad Yocum to join Gabe Etcheverry as Malibu’s fire safety liaisons.

Hisel and Yocum, who will both serve part-time, are replacing full-time Fire Safety Liaison Chris Brossard, who left the city in February for a position as a captain for Cal Fire. 

The fire safety liaisons are responsible for designing and implementing wildfire preparedness and mitigation programs such as the city’s free Home Wildfire Hardening Assessment Program for residents, and the recent free Hazard Tree Removal Program, as well as general fire safety public education. They also respond to incidents to serve as a liaison between the incident command post and the city’s Emergency Operation Center. Having three part-time fire safety liaisons, each with their own specialized knowledge, will provide greater coverage during red flag fire conditions, and a broader knowledge base to serve the community year-round. 

“The city is committed to addressing Malibu’s number-one public safety threat, wildfire, so it’s great news that we are welcoming our excellent new fire safety liaisons,” Mayor Paul Grisanti said. “Our fire safety liaisons are crucial for coordinating with the Fire Department and other agencies on fire planning and response, conducting community preparedness outreach, monitoring fire conditions, updating the council and staff on fire conditions, and much more.”

With 34 years of experience, Hisel retired from LACOFD in 2018 after working for 18 years with the department. He served as the Division 3 assistant fire chief for five years and served as a battalion chief for nine years, including an assignment with Battalion 5, whose territory includes Malibu. His familiarity with Malibu includes serving as the LACOFD incident commander for the Malibu Triathlon. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks.

(Left) Brad Yocum and Greg Hisel (right), both with extensive public safety experience, will start the week of May 23. Photos courtesy.

Yocum retired from LACOFD in 2019 after working for 15 years as a firefighter paramedic and 15 years in LACOFD’s Forestry Division, which is responsible for overseeing numerous activities, including brush clearance, fuel modification, home inspections, and public education. Yocum earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resource Management from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Yocum’s experience and education in natural resources and defensible space will greatly assist the city’s efforts to encourage and advise property owners on how to harden their homes against wildfires.

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The city’s current part-time fire safety liaison, Gabe Etcheverry, was hired in July 2021 after working for 34 years with LACOFD, including 20 years as a fire captain. Etcheverry has experience as an instructor in Urban Search and Rescue and Hazardous Materials. 

For more information about the city’s fire safety efforts and to schedule a free home wildfire hardening assessment, visit www.MalibuCity.org/FireSafety. 

Samantha Bravo
Samantha Bravo
Samantha Bravo is an inspiring photojournalist based in Los Angeles California. She began her journalism career at Pierce College Media Arts Department. Twitter @samanthavbravo

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