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About the Chief

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Ian Larkin was named Unit Chief of the San Mateo Santa Cruz Unit, effective May 11, 2016.

Chief Larkin was born and raised in Watsonville, CA and now makes his home in Scotts Valley, CA with his wife and two daughters.

He has served with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection for 28 years. Career Highlights: Chief Larkin began his fire service career in 1988, as a Paid Call Firefighter with the Salsipudes Fire Protection District in Santa Cruz County and began his professional career as a Firefighter I with CAL FIRE in the San Mateo – Santa Cruz Unit (CZU) in July of 1990.

In October 1991, he accepted a permanent Firefighter/Operator position with the Aromas Tri-County Fire Protection District, however on July 1, 1993, Ian returned to CAL FIRE in the San Benito Monterey Unit (BEU) as a Fire Apparatus Engineer (FAE) through a cooperative fire protection agreement with Aromas Fire Protection District. During that time he was assigned to the Aromas Station and the Peninsula Battalion at the Pebble Beach and Carmel Hill Fire Stations.

In November 1996, he promoted to a permanent Fire Captain position in BEU, worked in the Monterey Emergency Command Center beginning February of 2000, then returned to the Aromas Fire Station in September of 2001.

In December of 2004, he returned home to Santa Cruz County as a Fire Captain Specialist-Training Officer in the CZU Training Battalion, where he made significant impacts to the Santa Cruz County Fire Department volunteer firefighter training program and development of the Ben Lomond Training Center.

In February 2007, he promoted to Battalion Chief-Operations, responsible for Battalion 3 of CZU’s South Division, which covers stations from Saratoga Summit to Davenport.

In January 2012, he promoted to Division Chief as the Unit Administrative Officer and quickly promoted again to Deputy Chief of Operations in March of 2013, overseeing all of the Santa Cruz County Fire Department Operations, as well as CZU’s Battalions 3 and 4, Training, and the Emergency Command Center. He also served as the Interim CZU Unit Chief following the transfer of Chief Scott Jalbert in April 2016.

In addition to Chief Larkin’s previously mentioned accomplishment, he is a Registered Fire Instructor with the Office of the State Fire Marshal in several fire service disciplines and is qualified as Operation Section Chief Type I, Plans Section Chief Type I, and an Incident Commander Type I Trainee. He has been a member of CAL FIRE Incident Command/Incident Management teams since 2011, held the position of Resource Unit Leader on Incident Command Team 1, Plans Section Chief Trainee on Incident Management Team 6, and currently serves as the Deputy Plans Section Chief on Incident Management Team 2.