Fire department's deputy chief Zolfarelli retires

Cities still looking for successor to Fire Chief Bill Cody, who retired last October

Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Zolfarelli retired Tuesday from the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department after 35 years of service with Bay Area public safety departments.

Zolfarelli joined the Livermore-Pleasanton department in 1999 from the Newark Fire Department. He was instrumental in the successful effort to develop the LPFD Hazardous Material Team and also managed the public education, disaster preparedness, and workers' compensation programs. He is an instructor at Chabot and Las Positas colleges.

Zolfarelli began his career in 1974 with the BART Police Department, moving to the San Leandro Police Department in 1977 and then joining that city's Fire Department in 1984, where he worked until 1998. He joined the Alameda County Fire Department in 1998 before moving to the Newark Fire Department.

He served on the Alameda County Fire Chiefs Operations Committee and the Alameda County Fire Chiefs Hazardous Materials Committee, the Alameda County Fire Training Committee and was a member of the East Bay Incident Management Team,

Zolfarelli's retirement comes just three months after LPFD's Fire Chief Bill Cody retired. The city managers of Livermore and Pleasanton are leading a search for Cody's successor.


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Posted by Gary Schwaegerle
a resident of Downtown
on Jan 27, 2010 at 10:02 am

Gary Schwaegerle is a registered user.

Congratulations Jeff on a well deserved Retirement; You don't seem old enough to retire. Looks like you will continue with Community Service via Chabot Las Positas CCD - That's Great! All the Best to You, Gary Schwaegerle

Like this comment
Posted by EBIMT
a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 28, 2010 at 11:13 am

Now is the perfect time for Livermore-Pleasanton Fire to be absorbed/merged with Alameda County Fire.

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Posted by Scott Walsh
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jan 28, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Not in your lifetime.

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Posted by Rat Turd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 28, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Another 55 year old joining the ranks of retirees pulling down $150,000 plus per year in retirement and full medical and dental for life. Yes I also agree that it should be absorbed into Alameda County fire to reduce cost.

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Posted by Don Stabler
a resident of another community
on Jan 28, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Congrat's Jeff! Welcome to the retirees club. It was fun working with you over the years on WILDLAND each year! Enjoy much happiness and good health for many years.

don stabler

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Posted by ProudDaughter2Jeff
a resident of Valley Trails
on Jan 29, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Instead of focusing on the negative, lets look at the flip side...these men and women are there to answer the many calls for help and risk their lives in order to help others. How many of us are truely brave enough to put our lives on the line for complete strangers? THANK YOU to the men and women of the LPFD Fire/Police department INCLUDING the retiree's who could have chosen any other job. All my best.

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Posted by ProudDaughter2Jeff2
a resident of another community
on Jan 29, 2010 at 12:30 pm

I agree. I am THANKFUL to all the time these men and women sacrifice away from their families to better serve our own. It is an honor to serve your community and the men and women of the LPFD and any other FD's do us great honors by serving for us! Best of luck in your new adventures!!!

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Posted by Employer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2010 at 9:33 pm

Since PW doesn't believe in Freedom of Press, PW removed questions in this posting. Where do employer's go to find out information regarding their employees employment, if neither the city nor PW provide just some of the basics. Seems reasonable to me.
Surely that isn't too much to ask. Sorry there's a need to have to ask the essentials in the first place....already been to the supreme court. Hmmm, so now what about a violation of court order ?? You wanna go there?

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Posted by Employer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2010 at 9:38 pm

That's right, as with all young public retirees, they usually move on to another 'public' career....same employer. Rarely do we hear 'thank you for allowing me to hit the jackpot".

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Posted by chuck
a resident of San Ramon
on Feb 3, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Dear Employer, Don't you think Chief Zolfarelli has earned his retirement after 35 years of public service? I happen to know he is older than 55, but that is not the point. He put his life on the line for 35 years. First as a cop (and he was a darn good one) and then as a Fire Fighter, which he was also VERY good at! He and other like him earned everything they get when they retire. Now, i know you won't agree with me, so let me ask you this; do you really want a 60+ year old cop or firefighter responding to your emergency call? That's why they can retire at 55.

Like this comment
Posted by Employer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 3, 2010 at 10:22 pm

Well Chuck, then pensions should be appropriately adjusted suitable to age Soc Sec...take early, get less. Cadillac plan for waiting. Seems fair...sort of like in the real world.

Like this comment
Posted by Boomer
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 5, 2010 at 7:51 pm

Employer, public safety employees are not allowed to receive Soc.Sec. SSA Publication No. 05-10045, Windfall Elimination Provision. He and all the rest like him get to pay into the system and not collect. Do you or anyone else on this post pay into a retirement system you don't get? If that is your idea of a jackpot there are some Vegas casinos that would like to talk to you.

Did you also notice that none of the employed firefighters or police officers respond to any of the discontentment on this thread or any other for that matter? Do you believe they are afraid? “These angry people are right about us and if we stay quiet they will go away”


Soldiers and sworn personnel, are subject to having their 1st amendment rights suspended. The ironic humor in the armed services is “ I am defending free speech just not allowed to practice it.”

What is wrong with you people? Chief Zolfarelli had to have made countless sacrifices as a person and with his family in order to serve for 35 years. He and the rest deserve whatever they were offered.

CALPER’s statistical data confirms that he, at 65y/o will not live longer than 82.9 yrs 35 years of service for 17.9 years of retirement. NOW tell me where the “jackpot “ is.

You and those like you demand Cadillac service at Hyundai prices.

Here's a thought Employer ( and those like you ) if you took some of that energy you spend venting your impotent frustration and used it to volunteer at a food bank, or a city project that needs help or a local school think how great our city would be?

Do some research before you post.

I for one, am happy with our fire and police department. I’ve needed them both, ( car wreck Santa Rita and Valley 2008 ) and they are worth whatever they are paid.

Shame on PW for allowing itself to be a platform for such ignorant and destructive civil disharmony.

Like this comment
Posted by cc
a resident of another community
on Feb 10, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Thank you Boomer, I couldn't agree more with everything you said!

Like this comment
Posted by Tony
a resident of Harvest Park Middle School
on Jul 3, 2012 at 4:23 pm

It is time we stopped blaming the individual for the broken pension program and changed the program. Jeff is a wonderful person and the state is obligated to him for his pension.

I recently did a study on social security. SSA was started in 1940. An individual could not start receiving SSA income until age 62. In 1940, life expectancy for a man was 58 and for a woman was 62. They expected about 25% of the population to use SSA income and then for a very brief time. The law has never been changed yet life expectancy certainly has.

The same calculations could be used for pensions. The creators of the pension system never expected life expectancy to jump as quickly as it has. Taking this into account, something has to be changed.

Unfortunately, in order for these systems to remain viable, the minimum age that a person can partake must go up or the benefit must go down or a combination of the two.

Potentially even more unfortunate, if nothing is done, these systems can and will go bankrupt. In this case, the pension program is handed to the federal government to pay. The federal government guarantees these pensions at 50%. Current pensioners would start receiving half of what they are currently getting. If you don't believe this, ask United Air Lines retiree what happened to their pension when United Air Lines filed for bankruptcy in 2002.

So, Jeff, while I am extremely grateful for the service you provided, and I count myself extremely fortunate to have you as a friend, I strongly urge you to contact a comprehensive financial advisor to discuss your retirement.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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