From the January/February 2021 issue of the Rincon Voice
Dedication, commitment, excellence, courage and perseverance. On January 8th the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians in conjunction with the offices of California Senator Brian Jones, Assembly Woman Marie Waldron, and Supervisor Jim Desmond, all recognized Rincon Fire Chief Ed Hadfield for 35 years in the California fire service.
Ed Hadfield was born in the City of Los Angeles where he was raised primarily by his single mother, who put herself through college, and became a Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff in the early 70’s. She later married her husband, Ed’s stepfather, who as an LAPD Officer. Ed was active in football throughout his high school career. He attributes his direction to the fire service to the strong positive influences in his life.
From an early age, Hadfield knew he wanted to be a firefighter. His journey in fire service started in 1986 at the Los Angeles County Fire Department at Camp 8. He was a Fire Suppression Aide, also referred to as a Wildland Firefighter. Over the past 35 years, Chief Hadfield has worked every position and held every rank in the professional fire services. “I held positions in fire agencies in four separate counties including; Los Angeles, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara. I’ve responded to some of the largest wildfires in all of the State of California, Earthquakes (Northridge), Riots (Los Angeles 1992), Major High Rise Fires, commanded large Commercial and Industrial Fires and large scale technical rescues. My favorite position was as a firefighter driving the rear of a hook and ladder (Tiller) truck for the City of Huntington Beach,” Chief Hadfield recalls.
He has served the Rincon Tribe as Fire Chief of the Rincon Fire Department for over five years and has plans to be around for many more. “I absolutely love being the Fire Chief at the Rincon Fire Department and this department and the people I get to work with are the best I have ever been a part of.” Chief Hadfield states, “We are a true team and Rincon Fire Department is recognized on a national, state and regional level as leaders in our industry.”
When asked what the service award means to him, Chief Hadfield responded, “Being a firefighter is the greatest gift I have ever been given. Every day, I wake up and I am truly excited to go to work. The people of the Rincon Tribe, the Government and the members of the Fire Department are the absolute best and most supportive people any Fire Chief could ask for. Serving the Rincon Tribe is rewarding to a level that is difficult to describe. We get to know people of the reservation on a personal name basis, which makes our job even better. The Council is highly supportive and engaged in the departments’ success and growth. As for being recognized for 35 years of service, I’m thankful to be part of an outstanding team of professionals that make each day feel like it’s my first day on the job.”
He has lived most of his adult life in San Diego County where he is a single father of two great children.