City of Napa Fire Chief Steve Brassfield announced his retirement effective Christmas Day, Dec. 25, 2020, after nearly 27 years of dedicated service with the Napa Fire Department (NFD). His leadership and exemplary service to Napa was recognized at the Dec. 15, 2020 City Council meeting.
Chief Brassfield was first hired as a firefighter/paramedic in September 1994 and worked his way through the ranks until being promoted to Fire Chief in December 2016. He subsequently served as a fire captain, training officer, union president and battalion chief before leading the department.
“I have worked closely with Chief Brassfield over his many years of service and his accomplishments have paved the way for the ongoing effectiveness and professionalism of our fire department,” Potter said. “His dedication to community involvement and safety as well as inter-agency and inter-departmental partnerships has unified this City and allowed for successful collaborations. His leadership, integrity and devotion will be missed by all who knew and worked with him.”
During his tenure serving more than 80,000 Napa residents, Chief Brassfield worked diligently to connect the Fire Department with other city departments and other public agencies, engage with community members, lead the Fire Department to progress and growth, revitalize community-service programs, and earn grants that benefitted the department as well as the City.
“Steve came to the Napa Fire Department as a rookie firefighter assigned to my engine company as a probationary firefighter. I recognized early on he was an outstanding hire and would have a future with us in Leadership roles. Steve was a confident firefighter, a skilled and compassionate medic, a role model as Captain, and a respected Chief by his peers. I was fortunate to have worked alongside him during his career with the Napa Fire Department. Steve is an intelligent, honorable and unwavering public servant whose absence will be felt at the Fire Department and at the City,” said Mayor and former Napa Fire Captain Scott Sedgley. “During a time when our City faced unprecedented wildfires and challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, Chief Brassfield served this community tirelessly. The entire City is grateful for his service to Napa for so many years.”
Brassfield earned a number of accomplishments during his time as Fire Chief, including:
Launched the “Preparados” program to engage and prepare Spanish-speaking members of the Napa community for emergencies
Restored the Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) program to educate community members about emergency response
Instituted a new Employee Recognition Committee to honor the hardworking NFD staff
Initiated a long-term collaborative visioning process with Napa City Firefighters Association leadership
Fostered significant improvements to the Fire Investigation team and improved interactions with the Napa Police Department
Created a City Tactical Radio Channel to stay connected to the Napa community
Launched the NFD Training Classroom project in tandem with the Public Works Department
Started a NFD Peer Support Program to address staff’s mental and physical strains
Provided essential leadership during the 2017 Wildland fires as well as the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic and wildfires
Oversaw a total of 39 new hires, 22 promotions and 16 appointments
In his retirement, Chief Brassfield will remain in Napa and spend time with his wife Carrie, two children and grandson.
Napa City Manager Steve Potter has offered the Fire Chief position to NFD Division Chief Zach Curren to succeed Chief Brassfield. Curren has been with the Napa Fire Department since 2006, when he began his tenure as a firefighter paramedic and is expected to take over officially as Fire Chief on Dec. 26, 2020.
For more information about the Napa Fire Department, please visit cityofnapa.org/FireDepartment.