New Tulare County Fire Chief sworn in

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Chief Charlie Norman was sworn in at the board of supervisors meeting in Visalia Tuesday morning. (KFSN)

Tulare County has new Chief for Fire Operations. Chief Charlie Norman was sworn in at the board of supervisors meeting in Visalia Tuesday morning.

Chief Norman is the third chief since the department was created back in 2007. Chief Norman is a local guy and said he looks forward to making the department an even better one.

The newly appointed Tulare County Fire Chief Said he's humbled and honored to lead the department. Tulare County Supervisors, who chose him unanimously, believe he's the right fit for the position. "There's a lot that's going on in the fire industry throughout our county, and I know that you are the right man to lead us into the future," said Peter Vander Poel, Tulare County Supervisor.

It won't be an easy job, Chief Norman will have to advocate for his department.
He will have to make sure they're operating safely while also working within the confines of the budget. Chief Norman said there's always a need for more staffing. "It's a plethora of challenges and most of them have to do with money. We have a good culture here, we have a very good, very well trained fire department. It's just keeping up with today's standards and today's call volume and the population increases, and keeping up with service levels."

Firefighters from the Exeter station spent Tuesday morning getting a refresher in training. Working out the kinks and preparing for real-life fire situations.

Chief Norman was born and raised in Tulare County. He's served on the Exeter City Council and Tulare County Planning Commission and believes strongly in community outreach. "I think it's very important for us to be visible in the community, having all of our stations become community centers. I think the public knowing that they have a place to go, safe access, and just meeting part of the fire staff is very, very, important," said Chief Norman.

The Chief said with two new patrols and two new engines, they're moving forward with their equipment replacement program. And looking forward to making the department an even stronger one.

In 2015, Tulare County Fire ranked first in the Central Valley and tenth in the state for fill the boot, the fundraising program to help those with muscular dystrophy.
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