Briefly In Public Safety

Laguna Beach gets a new fire chief

Kris Head will become Laguna Beach's new fire chief, effective March 15, city officials announced Wednesday. Head, who was appointed and is being promoted from battalion chief, will take over from Mike Macey, who will retire after five years as Laguna's fire chief.

Head has been a firefighter and paramedic in Laguna Beach for 25 years. For the last six years, he has been a battalion chief.

Head has a bachelor's of science in management from the University of Redlands, a master's of science in fire service from Grand Canyon University, and has completed the National Fire Academy's certification as an executive fire officer. He lives in San Clemente with his wife, Kimberly, and their three children.

Concurrently, Jeff LaTendresse is being promoted from battalion chief to deputy fire chief. He has about 13 years of service with the Laguna Beach Fire Department. He has another 10 years of professional experience with the Indio and Cathedral City fire departments. LaTendresse, his wife, Mindy, and their two children live in Laguna Beach.

LBFD to monitor EMT checks

The City Council approved at its Jan. 5 meeting a resolution authorizing the Laguna Beach Fire Department to access state and federal records on arrests and convictions of emergency medical technicians in the city's employ or those who apply for jobs.

A new state law that will go into effect July 1 requires all EMTs certified or licensed in California to be entered into a statewide registry of arrests and convictions that must be monitored by departments such as the city's fire department.

Certifying departments must monitor EMT personnel they certify, re-certify or employ.

All Laguna Beach fire department employees maintain EMT-1 certification or a license, and must undergo a background checks before July 1.

EMTs applying for jobs after July 1 also will be subject to state and federal level background checks before a license will be issued.

The council's approval of the resolution establishes the departments requirement for access to the summary criminal history information for certification and employment purposes.

"” Barbara Diamond

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