March Field FES hosts Riverside County Chief’s Association meeting

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U.S. Air Force photo / Megan Crusher

March Field Fire Emergency Services hosted the Riverside County Chief’s Association meeting on base for the first time, Feb. 19. The March FES has been an active member of the group for 10 years.

“In an effort to show commitment to our mutual aid partners and showcase our personnel, facility and equipment, we offered to host the event,” said Kile W. Stewart, newly-appointed fire chief.

The meeting happens once a month at different fire departments and is a great way for the agencies to interact with each other and discuss issues they are dealing with, said Timothy Holliday, deputy fire chief. There’s a lot of good information shared between the various departments and it’s important for March to be involved, he said.

“We bring a unique aspect to the mix with our crash trucks and fire tender,” Holliday said.

Both March fire vehicles have assisted agencies outside the base and if there’s ever an emergency on base, they know they can count on the city and county fire departments to help them too, he said.

Fire representatives from Riverside City, Riverside County, Corona, Palm Springs, San Bernardino County, Hemet, Idyllwild, Cathedral City and the Forestry Dept. attended the meeting.

Visitors received an added bonus while at the base when they attended the unveiling of C-17 nose art on The Spirit of Ronald Reagan. After the unveiling, the fire chiefs were able to tour the inside of the jet before heading back to the fire station for the meeting.

After the meeting, first time attendee, Patrick Reitz, fire chief, Idyllwild Fire Protection District, was taken on a tour of the March fire department.

“I love it! It’s quite a facility,” said Reitz.

Those same sentiments were followed by the Chief’s Association president, John Hawkins, Riverside County fire chief. 

“We’re proud to be here and be hosted by March,” he said.

The March FES was honored to have the meeting on base and will happily host again, said Stewart.

“I am looking forward to building on the existing relationship with the association and working together in the future for the mutual benefit of March and our neighbors.”