A veteran fire service professional with nearly three decades of firefighting experience was hired as Lompoc’s first female fire chief.
Chief Alicia Welch follows Interim Fire Chief Brian Federmann and the retired former Chief Gerald Kuras.
Chief Welch was hired by the city of Lompoc following an extensive national recruitment, conducted with the assistance of executive recruiters, Bob Murray & Associates.
“I am excited to join the fantastic team of professional firefighters in Lompoc Fire, and look forward to carrying on the tradition of quality fire and emergency services that they work hard on each day,” Chief Welch said in a news release. “I look forward to working with the community and elected officials to address their needs, while ensuring Lompoc Fire Department personnel prevent incidents from occurring in the first place.”
The new fire chief served in various capacities with the Los Angeles City Fire Department from 1990 to 2017. She rose in the ranks, from firefighter to battalion chief.
She was most recently the fire chief for the city of Golden, Colo., and held the position from November 2018 to this summer.
Chief Welch got her bachelor’s degree from Cal State University, Long Beach and her master’s degree in homeland security from the Naval Postgraduate School.
Lompoc City Manager Jim Throop said the city was fortunate to have Interim Chief Federmann leading the department through the pandemic and other challenges.
“I’m grateful Brian stepped up to lead the fire department during a difficult time,” he said in a news release. “Now he is looking forward to returning to his duties as battalion chief as we welcome Alicia on board.
“Chief Welch brings a wealth of experience, valuable strategic planning and technical skills, and also has family roots on the Central Coast. She will be an outstanding addition to the Lompoc Fire Department and the city of Lompoc.”