Meet the Fire Chief of Placentia's New Fire and Life Safety Department

Placentia has hired a fire chief for its brand new Fire and Life Safety Department. John Pono Van Gieson will take over March 3. He was selected after a nationwide search, according to a city press release.

“A US Army Veteran with combat medic experience, Fire Chief Van Gieson comes to Placentia with over three decades of firefighting and 911 emergency response expertise, most recently leading these services as part of award-winning departments and teams serving over one million residents,” said City Administrator Damien Arrula. “We are thrilled to have him lead our City’s newly established local, homegrown Fire Department.”

Placentia’s new chief said he is "looking forward to meeting the Placentia community and taking the reins on the important work to enhance 911 emergency response times and provide the level of local fire safety and emergency response services residents expect and deserve.”

Placentia has contracted with the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) for fire and emergency medical services for more than two decades. To improve emergency services, the City Council voted last year to establish a new City of Placentia Fire and Life Safety Department. The city says nearly 77% of its 911 calls are for medical emergencies.

Read more at Public CEO.