Website Menlo PArk Fire Protection District

The District

We are a progressive and dynamic fire district that is headquartered in Menlo Park and located between the three metro cities of San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland. Serving an estimated population of 90,000, the District’s coverage area encompasses 29 square miles in the southernmost part of San Mateo County, including the communities of Atherton, Menlo Park, East Palo Alto, and select unincorporated county areas.

Our employees provide first response for residential, commercial, industrial, life sciences, technology and investment sectors via seven strategically located stations. Also located within the District’s boundaries is the U.S. Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, a Veteran’s Hospital, and parts of Stanford University, along with major research and healthcare organizations, such as SRI International and Stanford Hospital. The entire region has experienced relatively rapid growth largely attributable to the increasing presence of technology firms and significant expansion activity by some well-known companies, including Facebook, which is headquartered in Menlo Park.

We are a California Special District, which is an independent government agency with our own tax base and administrative functions (finance and human resources) that is governed by a five-member Board of Directors who are elected at-large to staggered, four-year terms. Our Board of Directors is charged with providing strategic leadership, policy direction, and fiscal oversight. We are organized across seven divisions: Administration, Human Resources and Risk Management, Fire Prevention, Information Technology, Operations, Support Services, and Training.

Our 148 full-time equivalent employees (109 FTE provide direct fire services) work to protect the area’s residents, businesses, and visitors through a variety of services and programs, including fire suppression, fire prevention, water rescue, emergency medical services (EMS), arson investigation, public education, and fire and hazardous materials inspections. In addition, we offer the following community programs: Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) and Cadet and Explorer Programs. The District sponsors California Task Force 3, Urban Search and Rescue (CA-TF3 US&R). The Task Force provides critical emergency response services as one of 28 teams in the country that constitute the National Search and Rescue Response System.

The Candidate

We are seeking a strong leader with a diverse background in fire operations, emergency medical services, fire prevention, disaster preparedness, complex mutual aid/task force deployments and administration. This fire professional will be an outstanding critical thinker and innovative problem solver who is skilled at anticipating challenges and opportunities to ensure the District is well-prepared for the future.

To be successful in this role, the District’s Fire Chief must be an exceptional relationship builder, active listener, and capable of quickly building trust and rapport with board members, district staff, and external stakeholders. Our next Fire Chief will be actively engaged with our workforce and maintain a continuous presence in the organization. The successful candidate will lead by example and support a learning organization culture comprised of mentorship, training and developing future leaders for succession planning. Respected for superior interpersonal skills and sophisticated political acumen, the individual will be empathetic and sensitive to diverse communities and will have a history of placing interests of the community and District personnel above personal self-interests. The individual will be an excellent written and verbal communicator who is effective at presenting before a wide array of audiences and understands the importance of continually engaging with all stakeholders in a variety of ways. The successful candidate will have a background in labor group negotiations with firefighters, civilians, and unrepresented employees, in addition to fostering productive working relationships with labor and non-labor groups. Some other top competencies include experience with long-range planning, project management, management of substantial budgets,  and knowledge of special district governance, funding and authority.

The Board of Directors is seeking candidates who possess a minimum of ten (10) years of increasingly responsible and broad experience in fire service operations and administration which includes at least five (5) years of supervisory experience in a command position.

A bachelor’s degree with coursework in fire science, public administration, business administration or related field is required. Desirous qualities include a master’s degree, Chief Fire Officer designation, and recognition as an NFA Executive Fire Officer.


Submit resume, cover letter and three professional references by 5:00 pm PST on October 22, 2021 to:

Menlo Park Fire Protection District

Francine Hunt, Human Resources Manager

170 Middlefield Road
Menlo Park, CA 94025

[email protected]

Tentative Timeline

  • Week of October 25       Screen submission materials
  • Week of November 8      Oral panel & final interviews

Compensation Package

Salary will be negotiated and commensurate on experience. The District provides a competitive benefits package, some of which include:

  • CALPERS Retirement- Public Safety-Fire Classification
  • Health Insurance
  • Life Insurance – $100K policy
  • Residency Stipend
  • Post Employment Health Plan (PEHP) – District contribution
  • Generous Paid Time Off
  • District Vehicle

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