First Responders, Community ‘Take Over’ Cal OES Headquarters

On May 24, dozens of different agencies from across the state participated in the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) Family Day and Open House. A wide variety of state, local, federal, private sector and non-profit sector partner organizations offered booths, displays and equipment. There was a plaque re-dedication in honor of former Senator Bill Campbell, and NFL Hall of Famer Tim Brown spoke about his role with the 9-1-1 for Kids program.

Family Day 3

“The thing that is so special about what we are doing, I had no idea…I’m from Texas, and obviously we have the same issues in Texas but I had no idea that the State of California was losing so much money because kids didn’t know how to use 9-1-1, didn’t know when to call, how to call and what to say when they called,” Brown said. “Once I learned that I realized that we had the ability to do something real special.”

Campbell served more than 20 years in the California Legislature as an Assemblyman and a Senator and was a leader in emergency preparedness. The Cal OES building is already named in his honor.

His former Chief of Staff, Jerry Haleva, represented the Campbell family at the plaque re-dedication. Cal OES Chief Deputy Director Nancy Ward, Assemblyman Ken Cooley and Brown also spoke.

“I think it’s appropriate that this building symbolizes the cooperation that needs to exist in California among all the various diverse public safety agencies,” said Haleva. “We have a lot of the different public safety agencies in the State of California, a lot of different jurisdictions and sometimes they are actually competitive. But this organization, Cal OES, has a responsibility of bringing them all together and having them work for the greater good.”


Family Day and Open House allowed the public to tour the Cal OES building, meet first responders and climb inside Law, Fire and other emergency vehicles. A helicopter, SWAT truck and fire engines, among others, aligned the main parking lot along with vendors to showcase their respective agencies. The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department helicopter landed within feet of the Cal OES front steps.

The U.S. Naval Academy represented all United States Military Academies, and an informative Cal OES Career Event was positioned indoors to answer any inquiries from prospective future employees.

“It’s an amazing day for our agency and it’s amazing for all of us to be able to share it with you,” said Ward.

Jonathan Gudel

Jonathan Gudel is a Public Information Officer for the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). Since joining Cal OES, he has assisted in the response and recovery efforts of the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak, the state's historic drought, the Oroville Dam Emergency Spillway Incident, unprecedented winter storms in 2017, the October (Sonoma County) and December (Santa Barbara County) 2017 wildfires, and statewide wildfire siege in 2018 . Previously, he worked in the newspaper industry for 12 years.

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