Temecula Mayor Mike Naggar and CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Chief John R. Hawkins are pleased to announce the promotion of Charlie Dehart to Division Chief position for the City of Temecula. The effective date of the promotion was September 1, 2016.
Dehart started his career in 1984 as a Volunteer Firefighter for Riverside County Fire Department at Little Lake Fire Station #26 in the unincorporated area of Hemet, through the Riverside County Office of Education’s Regional Occupational Program (ROP).
In 1985, Dehart was employed as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), and concurrently as a seasonal Fire Apparatus Engineer for the USFS at the Cranston Guard Station, east of Hemet.
Dehart started his full time career with CAL FIRE (formerly CDF) as a seasonal firefighter in 1987 and attended the Crafton Hills College fire academy. He was hired as a full-time Fire Apparatus Engineer with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF, now CAL FIRE) in 1990 and was assigned to the San Jacinto and Blythe Battalions.
In 1997, Dehart promoted to Fire Captain and relocated within the Riverside Unit to expand his knowledge where he was assigned to the Bautista Conservation Camp. During his assignment, he obtained Technical Tree Falling and Pesticide Applicator licenses. In 1999, Dehart became the Operations Captain at the camp.
Law Enforcement was next on Dehart’s career goals. In 2001, after graduating from the California Peace Officers and Standards Training (POST), he transferred to the CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Department Law Enforcement Bureau as a Fire Captain Specialist where he promoted to Battalion Chief of the Fire Prevention and Investigations Bureau in 2008.
During his assignment to the Fire Prevention Bureau; in 2006, Dehart was the lead investigator in the Multi-Agency Task Force which led to the capture and conviction of the arsonist responsible for the Esperanza Fire series; earning him the CAL FIRE Director’s Leadership Award in 2008 for outstanding leadership and management of the Esperanza Fire series.
Subsequently, in 2008, Dehart promoted to Battalion Chief for the City of Temecula for four years. During his assignment, he was instrumental in the development of the Temecula Citizen’s Corp.
In 2012, Dehart relocated to the San Jacinto Battalion to expand his experience and scope of leadership. He returned to the Law Enforcement Bureau as their Battalion Chief and Law Enforcement Supervisor.
Dehart has served for 11 years as an intermittent Fire Investigation and Law Enforcement Instructor for the CAL FIRE POST Academy and will continue to serve in accordance with his POST certification and other specialized training in accordance with the CAL FIRE Riverside Unit’s Law Enforcement Bureau in hopes of expanding his knowledge to Law Enforcement Management.
Charlie Dehart currently resides in Hemet with his wife, Elizabeth, a high school teacher. Dehart has a son who is a paramedic, a daughter who is serving in the U.S. Coast Guard in Washington, and four grandchildren.
“Charlie brings a wealth of experience and leadership, which will serve he and the City of Temecula well. We are very proud to promote him,” said Chief John R. Hawkins. Mayor Naggar concurred, “Charlie’s extensive experience both in public safety and fire service is a tremendous asset as Fire Chief and I have the utmost confidence in his ability to continue to employ the highest standards of public safety, paramedic services, and fire protection expected as the Temecula Fire Chief.”