Wes Kitchel

Fire Department

Chief Wes Kitchel has been actively involved in the fire service for more than 47 years. He retired previously after 33 years of service as a captain with the Santa Rosa (California) Fire Department. Two years after his retirement, he took a position with the Sonoma County Fire and Emergency Services as the Assistant Chief of Operations and Training. Wes retired from that position in 2016 and he then took the position of Chief of Operations for the Cloverdale Fire Protection District in Northern California. Wes retired from the Cloverdale Fire Protection District in 2019.

Wes has participated as chair/delegate on many IFSTA committees including: Fireground Support Operations, First Responder, Wildland, Structural Collapse, Ground Ladders, Rescue, Driver Operator/Pumping Apparatus, Essentials of Fire Fighting 5th and 6th, Company Officer, and Loss Control and Extrication.

Wes studied Fire Technology at the Santa Rosa Junior College and Vocational Education at California State University at Long Beach. He has lifetime teaching credentials from the State of California and has taught at the Community College level for over 30 yrs. Wes has delivered seminars on Truck Operations, Command and Control and USAR related programs locally as well as nationally.

Wes is a certified fire officer and senior rescue instructor for the California State Fire Marshal's Office. In this capacity, he has the opportunity to encourage partnerships between the fire service and public and private companies through cooperative training courses for a shared regional emergency response to special rescue situations.

Wes has worked with the California State Fire Marshal's Office and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) as a task group leader to develop Fire Ground Operations for Photovoltaic Systems. This document provides a guide for firefighters in a safe operational approach in buildings equipped with solar technology.

He also represents IFSTA as a principal member of the NFPA 1006, Standard for Rescue Technician Professional Qualifications, committee. Wes currently serves as Chair of the current IFSTA Vehicle Extrication validation committee.

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