McCollum was asked to be District Chief in 2013 and assumed command in 2014. His rein has been highlighted by significant upgrades in the fleet, communications system, and equipment available to the volunteers. “There is now a seatbelt in every truck we own” stated McCollum in jest. But the comment does reflect the notable improvement in the fleet. Other highlights include a recent purchase of a mobile compressed air/ light tower that enhances the capabilities of all the departments in Sierra Valley when coupled with a similar unit stationed in Vinton and owed by Sierra Valley Fire Department.
McCollum and his wife Tami will continue as volunteers. Additionally, Jeff will manage radios, repeaters, and help with fleet oversight.
Mick Connelly, a former fire fighter in Stockton Fire Department and current resident of Calpine, will step up as Interim District Chief. Connelly has been with the District for 4 years as a Division Chief responsible for training, recruitment, and retention. The Board of Commissioners asked Connelly to take on the District Chief role for a 6 month to 1 year period to “see how the shoe fit”.
“We can’t express enough our appreciation to Jeff for his leadership and untold number of volunteered hours over his 6 year term”, said Commissioner Rick Maddalena. “He can stand proud of his accomplishments.” “We welcome Mick to this new role and pledge our support to help him be equally successful” added Maddalena.