Brian Marshall (left) and Cal OES Director Mark Ghilarducci embrace during today's ceremony to swear in Marshall as the new Fire and Rescue Chief.

Marshall Sworn in as New Cal OES Fire Chief

Today, California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) Director Mark Ghilarducci officially swore in Brian Marshall as the new Fire and Rescue Chief. He was appointed to his new position in December.

Chief Marshall spent the previous six years as the fire chief and director of emergency services at the Kern County Fire Department. He served in several positions with the Kern County Fire Department since 1987, including interim fire chief and director of emergency services, deputy fire chief, fire battalion chief, fire captain, fire engineer and firefighter. He is also a member of FIRESCOPE and oversaw numerous disasters throughout central California, including the Erskine Fire in 2016.

Chief Marshall will be replacing Kim Zagaris, who announced his retirement in 2018. Zagaris was appointed as the Fire and Rescue Chief on April 1, 2001.

Fire Chief Brian Marshall
Cal OES Director Mark Ghilarducci (left) shares a laugh with former Cal OES Fire and Rescue Chief Kim Zagaris (center) and incoming Chief Brian Marshall (right).

Prior to his appointment, Chief Zagaris was the Assistant Fire Chief for Cal OES with assignments in Region I, II, III, IV and V since 1987. He started his career as a Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) seasonal firefighter in 1977 and promoted through the ranks of the local, state and federal fire agencies to the State Fire and Rescue Chief. His extensive background in fire service, emergency management, and homeland security included working with local, state, federal and international agencies over the last 40 years.

Chief Zagaris was responsible for several major program elements including the day-to-day management of the California Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid System, which includes more than 1,100 fire agencies and about 55,000 professional and volunteer firefighters that operate approximately 6,000 fire engines statewide.

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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