The Ventura County Fire Department is promoting Assistant Chief Chad Cook to become its next deputy chief, Fire Chief Dustin Gardner has announced. Cook will step into his new post on March 20.
“Chad has been with the county for 31 years and held every rank in the agency up to his current assignment as assistant fire chief of emergency operations,” Gardner said. “He is one of the most well-recognized and respected fire ground commanders in the nation.

“We are truly fortunate to have Chad on our team, and I am thrilled to have him as my deputy,” Gardner said. “His level of dedication to the department, his compassion to serve our communities, and his desire to develop future leaders is unwavering and inspiring.”

Cook was selected after a nationwide recruitment. A panel of four outside raters interviewed the most qualified applicants and concluded, “Chief Cook was the clear and obvious choice.”
In his current duties, Cook oversees all field operations and the Fire Communications Center. For the past six years, he also has served as a Type 1 operations chief on a National Incident Management Team, responding to some of the nation’s largest wildfires.

As deputy chief, Cook will oversee the department’s bureau managers in day-to-day operations. He also will assist in planning, organizing and directing the department’s activities and assumes direction of the department in the fire chief’s absence.

“I’m incredibly humbled by the promotion,” said Cook, who grew up in Thousand Oaks and currently lives in Moorpark. “Our agency provides the highest level of emergency services to our communities.

“I look at the men and women who carry out the mission of the department and smile, knowing the skills they possess to navigate this challenging profession are highly respected by me. I’m honored to serve in this leadership role.”