The League of California Cities Fire Chiefs Department works to improve municipal fire service by protecting local control, advancing educational opportunities, and framing issues impacting cities with a fire chief’s perspective. Members of this department include fire chiefs of municipal fire departments, or agencies, authorities, or districts that serve cities, and all fire chief officers who are interested in advancing their leadership skill set and developing a professional network are invited to participate.

Subscribe to the Fire Chiefs Listserv to receive the latest updates and information.


A Message from Greg Barton, Department President

The League of California Cities Fire Chiefs Department efforts are focused on engaging, influencing, and informing state and local policymakers on matters affecting fire and emergency services. To achieve this, the Fire Chiefs Department relies heavily on the expertise, leadership and collaborative support of Fire Chiefs statewide to safeguard and enhance local control for California cities through active education and advocacy. In addition, we represent local fire departments on all League Policy committees to make sure the voice of the fire service is heard.

The Fire Chiefs Department conducts a statewide zoom conference call on the second Thursday of each month at 0800 hours, uses a listserv email communication to share relevant information, and hosts a nationally recognized Fire Chiefs Leadership Seminar each year in December. Our group tries to extend beyond just the Fire Chief of the organization, with a focus on succession planning and inclusion for all of our current and future Chief Fire Officers.

The past few years has brought us to a new level of cooperation and collaboration in the California Fire Service that many have never seen before in our history, best illustrated by the success from our DRiSC partnership, which brought us together with a strong and unified voice.  We are a member of the California Fire Service Leadership Council which includes California Fire Chiefs Association, Fire Districts of California, California Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association, California Processional Firefighters, CAL OES, and California State Firefighters Association.   Simply put, the California Fire Service now has a stronger and more unified voice than ever before and our main goal is to use this new found cooperation to move our legislative agenda forward.

It is an honor to serve as your President for the League of California Cities Fire Chiefs Department. As your president, along with our extremely talented and hard-working Board, we are committed to working shoulder-to-shoulder with League members, the California Fire Chiefs Association, Labor Leadership, and all of our other mutual partners to serve the best interests of our diverse communities and the people of California’s cities.

Greg Barton, Fire Chief
City of Beverly Hills

Department Officers
The Fire Chiefs Department is made up of municipal fire service leadership who represent departments that provide direct fire service to cities: five executive leaders, eight policy committee members, and additional "at-large" members who contribute to conference planning, research, and representing the League on various state and local advisory committees.

Each year, the Fire Chiefs Department elects officers to oversee the work of the department and represent the department on the League's board of directors and other League policy committees. Fire Chiefs who are interested in pursuing a leadership role with the League should contact Meghan McKelvey.

2019-20 Department Officers

President - Greg Barton, Beverly Hills Fire Department Chief
First Vice President - Anthony Galagaza, Bakersfield Fire Department Chief
Second Vice-President - Jeff Boyles, Newport Beach Fire Department Chief
Director - John Binaski, Clovis Fire Department Chief
Past President - John Binaski, Clovis Fire Department Chief

*Terms are for one year, ending in September, except the director who serves a two-year term.
Useful Links
Fire chiefs provide a link between city government and fire service organizations including:

Regulatory working groups, task forces, and committees

Cal Cities holds a number of appointments to various state and regional regulatory bodies. If you are interested in serving on behalf of Cal Cities, please contact

  • Appointee - Chief Greg Barton, Beverly Hills Fire Department
  • Alternate Appointee - TBD

Fire Chiefs Leadership Seminar

December 8 — 9, 2021

Universal City, CA

Register Now

This seminar contains programs designed to appeal to fire services leaders including, but not limited to, fire chiefs, chief officers, and union leadership. Presenters and topics have been selected to deliver challenging leadership topics such as succession planning, labor relations, emergency response, late-breaking changes in EMS, and more.

Please see our event and meeting policies.

Become a Sponsor

Full Registration Includes:

  • electronic access to all program materials 
  • admission to all educational sessions 
  • admission to the Wednesday lunch, Wednesday evening reception, and Thursday breakfast.
Online Registration (credit card) – Register Now 
Mail-in Registration (pay by check) - contact Megan Dunn to request a registration form.

Full Conference Registration Fees

City Staff/Officials $350 
Company/Consultant/League Partner/All Others $670 
Non-member City $1350 
Guest/Spouse Reception Only Registration (Wednesday) $50 


The guest/spouse fee is restricted to persons who are not city or public officials, are not related to any League Partner or sponsor, and would have no professional reason to attend the conference. It includes admission to Wednesday’s networking reception only. There is no refund for the cancellation of a guest/spouse registration. It is not advisable to use city funds to register a guest/spouse. 

Refund Policy:

Advance registrants unable to attend will receive a refund of rate paid, minus a $75 processing charge, only when a written request is submitted to Megan Dunn, and received on or before November 30. Refunds will not be available after this date. If you are unable to attend, you may substitute a colleague for your entire registration.
Hotel and Travel

A limited number of hotel rooms are available at a reduced rate for conference attendees. The discounted hotel rate cut-off is Tuesday, November 16, 2021. Hotels are subject to sell out prior to the deadline – reserve early! 

STEP ONE: Register for the Conference

STEP TWO: Book a hotel room

Once registration is complete, you will receive a confirmation e-mail directing you to the group housing reservations page.

Sheraton Universal Hotel 
333 Universal Hollywood Drive
Universal City, CA 91608

Group Hotel Rate (per night): $199– Single/Double Occupancy (plus tax and fees)

Hotel Changes or Cancellations

Hotel reservation changes, date modifications, early check-out, or cancellations must be made directly through the hotel. Please note that after Tuesday, November 16, 2021 has passed, you may incur a financial penalty and minimum one-night room charge or attrition fees. 

PLEASE NOTE: The information you provide to Cal Cities when registering for a Cal Cities conference or meeting may be shared with the conference or meeting hotel(s). The hotel(s) will also share with Cal Cities the information you provide to the hotel(s) when you make your hotel reservation for the conference or meeting. The information shared between Cal Cities and the hotel(s) will be limited to your first name, last name and dates/length of stay in the hotel.

CAUTION! You must be registered for the conference prior to booking a hotel room. Do not make a hotel reservation unless you are sure it is needed. Your city/company will be financially responsible for all cancellation/attrition fees. If you are making hotel reservations for others, please confirm with each individual, in advance, that they actually need hotel accommodations and intend to use them on the dates you are reserving.

Parking and Transportation

Discounted Daily Parking: $14*
Discounted Self- Parking (per night): $29*
Discounted Valet Parking (per night): $45*
*Subject to availability and to change

Sheraton Universal Hotel offers an ideal location by the highway, next to the entrance to Universal Studios Hollywood. 

Nearby airports include:
Los Angeles International Airport (24 miles)
Hollywood Burbank Airport (4.9 miles)

Use the nearby Universal City metro stop on the Red Line to easily reach other Los Angeles attractions, including the Walk of Fame, the Hollywood Bowl, and Grauman's Chinese Theatre.
    Schedules and Sessions

    Schedule at a Glance

    As of October 5, 2021 (subject to change)

    Wednesday, December 8

    8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.  Registration Open 
    8:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. Fire Chiefs Department Business Meeting
    9:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.  Creating Resilient and Brain-Healthy Fire Departments
    10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Break and Visit with Sponsors
    10:45 a.m. – 11:55 a.m. Understanding the Legislative Process
    12 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. Networking Luncheon
    1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity in the Fire Service: Navigating and Implementing Strategies for Chiefs
    2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Extended Break and Visit with Sponsors
    3 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. Recruiting, Hiring and Promoting the Right People for Your Agency
    4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. General Session
    5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Joint Networking Reception (held with the attendees of the City Clerks New Law and Elections Seminar)

    Thursday, December 9

    8 a.m. - 12 p.m.  Registration Open 
    8 a.m. Breakfast Served
    8:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. Set-Up of Successful Leadership
    10:40 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Key Ingredients to Working with Your City Manager



    Session Descriptions

    The Set-Up of Successful Leadership 2.0
    Many people look at those in successful leadership roles and ponder questions like, ‘I want to be the best at leading my team too, what can I do?’ The truth is, there is nothing coincidental about an effective leader’s drive to the top. In this informative and entertaining keynote presentation, Brian Crawford will pick up where he left off in 2019, and provide participants with the tools they need to face future tests and trials.

    Brian Crawford is a 30-year fire service veteran and national speaker on public safety leadership. He previously served as the fire chief and CAO in Shreveport, LA, and also served as fire chief in Plano, TX.  Chief (Ret.) Crawford is currently a senior vice president for Willis-Knighton Health System. He holds master's degrees in organizational psychology and hospital administration. 

    Creating Resilient and Brain-Healthy Fire Departments
    Dr. Stephen Odom presents a popular and in-depth presentation that examines causes, signs, and symptoms of post-traumatic stress injuries and how it affects firefighters, including their department and families. Attendees will learn what can be done to heal, prevent further damage, and create a new “Brain Health” culture for their departments, where prevention and resiliency are holistic essential elements in supporting the whole unit. The effects of organizational culture and leadership are also examined to paint a clear picture of these elements, along with recommendations for creating a safe, confidential, and accessible Behavioral Care System for your fire department.

    Understanding the Legislative Process
    A brief overview of California’s legislative process to better assist those directly affected by fire service and public safety legislation. Get acquainted with the three types of measures considered by the California State Legislature: bills, constitutional amendments, and resolutions. Learn how a bill becomes law and how to read a bill. Discover what makes an effective letter of support and what tools and tips to keep in mind when testifying before a committee. A review of committees will be included as well. Lastly, speakers will review how to lobby the Governor to sign or veto a bill once the bill makes it to their desk.

    Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity in the Fire Service: Navigating and Implementing Strategies for Chiefs
    Fire departments serve communities who are demanding rapid and measurable change in our workforce diversity. Attempts have been made, but meaningful change has not, which is evidenced by the growing frequency and severity of complaints, lawsuits and even consent decrees. Furthermore, claims of workplace hostility/harassment reveal a moderate to major gap between workplace expectations/training, and the actual behavior of our firefighters. This gap, referred to as a “culture of indifference” in civil actions, exposes the agency to a loss public trust, a crushing blow to morale, and derails all DEI efforts. Discover seven actionable steps agencies can implement to mitigate risk and better meet our community’s expectation of our workforce.  Agencies that have implemented these strategies have reported a noticeable and lasting change in their culture; a change that was not as evident after attempting various online or corporate-focused training programs.                            

    Recruiting, Hiring and Promoting the Right People for Your Agency
    This workshop is designed for supervisors and managers involved in the selection process of potential candidates for employment. It takes its participants through all steps of the hiring process and provides tips on best practices to ensure you get the best-qualified candidates and reduce your chances of liability.

    Key Ingredients to Working with Your City Manager
    A key component to the success of a fire department and the fire chief is working with the city manager. What are the essential ingredients in that important relationship, to maximize building support at a community level? What components contribute to a healthy partnership? Attend this session and hear from panel of city managers and fire chiefs as they discuss their experience and recommendations related to this important working relationship.
    Explore Previous Seminars

    Speaker Center

    In the Speaker Center, you can find resources for all speaker-related details including deadlines, audiovisual requests, presentation submission directions, panelist agreements, and key event contacts. 

    Agreements and Presentation Submissions
    Below are key presenter deadlines and a link to the Speakers Agreement. Please read and complete the required fields to acknowledge your acceptance of the League of California Cities’ presenter guidelines. Providing your digital signature allows Cal Cities to move forward in planning and promoting your session, as well as publish your name and affiliation on our website and in marketing materials. Your contact information will remain strictly confidential.

    Should you have any questions, please contact the education department.

    Important deadlines 

    Today: Complete the Speakers Agreement and note any specific audiovisual requests. 

    November 16: Register for the seminar and book a hotel room if you would like to attend other seminar sessions.

    August - November: Meet with the other speakers / moderator of the session about the details of your session. You will want to make sure everyone involved in the session knows what information each panelist will cover, work out the order of speakers, decide how you will handle speaker introductions, and coordinate your PowerPoint presentation.

    November 29: Submit your final presentation to Cal Cities via the presentation submission page.

    Presentation Guidelines

    Our goal is to provide exceptional educational experiences, networking opportunities, and innovative tools that will make attendees and their cities more successful. Studies show that adults learn best when they are actively involved in the process rather than passively listening or watching. Most seminar attendees are knowledgeable about the subject, and therefore are interested in hearing what others know and what their experiences have been. Accordingly, we urge you to plan your presentation with these suggestions in mind.

    The most common complaints on session evaluations from prior seminars are:

    • "The presentation was a 'sales' pitch for a particular product or service."
    • "I couldn't read the slides."
    • "One speaker took so much time that the others were not able to give their full presentations."
    • "I'd like more practical knowledge."

    Please consider the following as you prepare for your presentation:

    • Relevant content for experienced audiences that stretches thinking and provides new approaches.
    • Content that is delivered in an engaging way and draws on the experience of the attendees.
    • Examples and case studies of real success (and successful failures).
    • Try to add stories, anecdotes, testimonials, or demonstrations that emphasize your point. We all remember a good story, and thus more easily the lesson with it.
    • Provide tools and information that the audience can implement.
    • If there are other speakers in your session, coordinate with them in advance to decide your speaking order and ensure that all presentations fit into the assigned time allotment. If you do not have the contact information for your co-presenters, please contact us at
    • Selling from the podium creates conflict of interest problems. Education sessions at the Fire Chiefs Leadership Seminar should never be an advertisement. Therefore, presentations may not include any commercialism for specific products or consulting services.

    Submitting Your Session Materials

    Presentation materials are an important element of Cal Cities educational programs. Please submit your presentation in either a Microsoft-friendly format or as a .pdf file no later than Monday, November 29. Session materials can be submitted through our website starting in early November. It is Cal Cities' goal to make a positive impact on the environment by integrating environmental considerations into all seminars.

    Some things to keep in mind are:

    • When naming your session materials, please use your session title. For example: "YourSessionTitle"
    • If your session group has created multiple presentations, please combine all presentations into one document before submitting to us, in the order the presenters are speaking.

    Please contact the education department with any questions, concerns, or assistance needs you may have.

    Submit your presentation here.

    Session Layout and Structure

    The League of California Cities encourages our presenters to use the most engaging and educational platform possible when speaking at the Fire Chiefs Leadership Seminar. We recognize that each session has a unique format and presentation style based on the preferences of the speaker(s) and content being presented, but the following three examples are provided as a general guideline in planning your session.

    Panel Discussions: 75 minutes, with up to 3 speakers

    Presider (5 minutes)     

    • Welcome
    • Frame session
    • Introduce speakers

    Speaker(s) #1, #2 and #3 (20 minutes)   

    • Summary of relevant experience
    • Learning objectives
    • Core session content
    • Summary of key points

    Presider (10 minutes)   

    • Facilitate Q&A
    • Final comments

    Concurrent Session: 75 minutes, 1 speaker

    Presider (5 minutes)     

    • Welcome
    • Frame session
    • Introduce speaker

    Speaker #1 (60 minutes)            

    • Summary of relevant experience
    • Learning objectives
    • Core session content
    • Summary of key points

    Presider (10 minutes)   

    • Facilitate Q&A
    • Final comments

    Speed Sessions: 20 minutes

    Speaker #1 (15 minutes)            

    • Self-Introduction
    • Frame session
    • Fun and engaging presentation

    Final Thoughts (5 minutes)        

    • Facilitate Q&A
    • Final comments

    As a reminder, sessions may not include any product/service demonstrations or commercial presentations for specific products or consulting services. Please contact the education department with any questions, concerns or assistance needs you may have.

    Contact Staff

    McKelvey, Meghan
    Meghan McKelvey
    Department and Member Services Manager
    (916) 658-8253

    Seals, Zach
    Zachary Seals
    Administrative Associate, Member Services
    (916) 658-8204