Sunday is Finale for Retiring Heartland Fire & Rescue Chief Mike Scott

Scott became fire chief for El Cajon in 2005, and four years later was named head of merged agencies.

The fire chief for Heartland Fire & Rescue is set to retire Sunday from a 28-year career that included search and rescue work at the site of 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing and at Ground Zero following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, agency officials said.

Mike Scott, 50, began his career as a firefighter/paramedic in 1984. He was one of the original members of California Task Force-8 Urban search and Rescue, one of 28 federal teams. He was deployed as a technical rescue specialist to the sites of the Northridge Earthquake in 1994, the Atlanta Olympics bombings in 1996 and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York, according to Monica Zech, spokeswoman for the agency.

Scott became fire chief for the city of El Cajon in 2005, and four years later, city managers named him fire chief for Heartland Fire & Rescue, effective when management services of El Cajon, La Mesa and Lemon Grove fire departments merged in January 2010.

"I have been deeply honored to serve as the fire chief for Heartland Fire & Rescue Joint Powers Agreement. We have built a solid organizational foundation and I am confident that this effort will continue to succeed," Scott said. "It has been my privilege to serve the community, the elected officials, the city managers and the dedicated employees of our fire department."     

El Cajon City Manager Douglas Williford called Scott an exemplary fire chief and said he deserved a lot of the credit for the success in consolidating three separate city fire departments into Heartland Fire & Rescue.

"I will miss him personally and the entire East County Heartland region will miss him collectively. He is leaving very big shoes to fill for his successor," Williford said.

—City News Service

Komfort July 30, 2012 at 05:08 PM
Komfort August 02, 2012 at 01:18 PM
cee August 09, 2012 at 05:59 AM
I love how everyone complains about firefighter retirement age and pay when they fail to realize that the retirement age is low for a reason. Early death. While they're out there saving your life or your family's life before retirement, they're paying a price to work for YOU. You may not feel a life is worth $100,000 + but you'd be right. A life is priceless. There's no amount of money which could equal a life. But guess what, the firefighter's average life expectancy is probably a lot lower than yours. So yeah maybe 100,000 club for now but that just means they won't be someone's father, son, brother, grandpa, uncle or friend for very long.
Batman August 09, 2012 at 07:21 AM
In the days before modern safety equipment, like self contained breathing apparatus (SCBAs), firemen did suffer earlier than normal mortality, usually due to lung problems. The job is safer now than ever before, it still has it's hazards, but in the old days they weren't paid much either. San Diego Police Dept today sends 3 or 4 officers to calls an officer would have to handle alone back in the 1960s. And they didn't have walkie talkies then, and police officer pay was nothing then compared to what it is now.
Kevin George August 09, 2012 at 03:18 PM
cee, for the sake of argument lets say what you say is true. ( although there is much info to the contrary) No matter how we feel about firefighters and policeman the current pension plans for them are unsustainable. I'm sure they are the greatest guys in the world but the fact remains that there will be a point in the very near future where we will have to remove firefighters and policemen from the street in order to pay for the retirees.


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