SJFD Fire Captain José Guerrero

Introducing José Guerrero – San Jose's New Wildland Officer
Looking forward to new challenges
Meet Captain José Guerrero
Published in May 2006 SCFSC Newsletter

SCFSC has a new member and representative from the San Jose Fire Department - and the San Jose Fire Department has a new Wildland Officer! Captain José Guerrero, who has called Fire Station 2 on Alum Rock Avenue his long-time home base, has begun a new challenge as SJFD's Wildland Officer replacing Captain Juan Diaz, who was recently promoted to Battalion Chief. Among other duties related to the Wildland Officer position, José will be the primary SJFD representative to the Santa Clara County FireSafe Council where he will work with the CDF and other Fire Departments in the County to help coordinate their County-wide wildfire prevention and education activities.

Just three days after he finished tying up loose ends at Station 2, Captain Guerrero assumed his new position. He'll "have a desk" at the SJFD Bureau of Field Operations on Montgomery Street, but he will no longer have a home base as he has had for the last eighteen years. Now he's adjusting to an "8 to 5" job after all those years of firefighters' shifts. "It was time to move on," he says simply. According to Station 2 Battalion Chief José Luna, "Captain Guerrero has served the community at Fire Station 2 in the ranks of firefighter, fire engineer and fire captain. I have been fortunate to have him as one of my company officers for the last six years."

This is an enormous change for 41-year old Captain Guerrero, but he says he's looking forward to a change of pace, "something different - outside of responding to 9-1-1 calls," he explained. He's happy to be taking on a new role and says the position offers enhanced opportunities for promotion. José has spent his life in and around the East Foothills and as a result has a great understanding of the wildfire threat.

Interestingly, José actually started out as a computer programmer and worked at Sun Microsystems. This meant working indoors, of course, and he realized he would prefer to be working outdoors and he would like to be working in a career which would allow him to help people – because, he explains, "It feels so good!" He earned his AA degree in Fire Science at Mission College and was hired by SJFD at age 22. He's now within hailing distance of a Bachelor of Science degree from UC Long Beach, which has been a very long-term goal.

We asked whether José, the first firefighter in his family, would want his children to follow in his path. José and his wife, Rosa, have five children ages 19, 18, 17, 16 (years) and 23 months! He says he'd be very proud if any of them (2 sons, 3 daughters) chose firefighting careers, but he knows that only they will make the decisions on their life's work.

José is interested in his local community both on and off duty. His new position as combination staff and Wildland Officer will be a great asset to the Department (and to SCFSC) on a number of levels – and according to Battalion Chief Luna, he has demonstrated a strong wildland experience in this battalion, throughout the city and on statewide mutual aid strike team incidents. "José has a very positive and deep interaction with the Spanish-speaking community and a great sense of humor – watch out! He is energetic, enthusiastic, he strives to educate and inform, and he is a quick learner."

More about Captain Guerrero and photos

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Is this an official history of the Santa Clara County FireSafe Council?

No, this is how Judy and I remember it plus the contributions of many past and present SCFSC participants.

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