Livermore native Jeff Peters has been appointed as the next leader of the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department, becoming the fifth permanent fire chief in the joint department's history.
A seasoned firefighter and administrator with three decades of experience in fire service in his hometown, Peters has led LPFD for the past six-plus months as interim fire chief after his predecessor stepped down to take the reins at the Santa Clara Fire Department last summer.
Peters is the first internal candidate promoted to fire chief of LPFD since the two cities' fire departments merged in 1996.
"I was extremely honored to be chosen to lead the agency I have dedicated over half my life to," Peters told the Weekly after his appointment was announced Wednesday. "I am very passionate about providing exceptional service to the two communities we serve, and will do so with a very humble professionalism."
"The six months serving as the interim fire chief was a long interview, but one that allowed the city leaders and myself to confirm the partnership. I enjoyed the acting experience and treated every day as if I was the permanent fire chief," he added.
As for top priorities early in his tenure, Peters said, "My initial focus for the LPFD will be to strengthen the current services we provide to the communities by strengthening their fiscal and operational sustainability. I will lead the LPFD into its next phase of maturity and work with both partner cities to address the needs in an efficient manner."
Peters' permanent promotion formally took effect on Tuesday, with the cities' officials announcing the news publicly on the following afternoon.
Livermore City Manager Marc Roberts and Pleasanton City Manager Nelson Fialho, who spearheaded the hiring process and made the final selection together, said Wednesday that they determined Peters was the best candidate to lead the department into the future.
"Chief Peters has demonstrated a unique ability to command the complexities of leading a fire department while balancing the dynamics of serving two partner cities," Fialho said in a joint statement.
"Under Jeff's leadership, I have full confidence our joint fire department will continue to provide first-rate fire service to our shared communities," Roberts added.
Born and raised in Livermore, Peters began his career as a volunteer firefighter in Livermore in 1990 and was hired on as a full-time firefighter in the city two years later. He remained with his hometown department after Livermore and Pleasanton consolidated fire services in 1996.
Peters has served in nearly every capacity for LPFD, including firefighter, engineer, captain, battalion chief, deputy chief and four years as assistant chief.
That depth of experience led Fialho and Roberts to turn to Peters as interim chief starting last July when then-chief Ruben Torres left LPFD after nearly four years to become fire chief of the Santa Clara Fire Department.
After a strong audition at the helm, the city managers removed Peters' interim tag this month to make his promotion permanent.
As fire chief, Peters will report to both city managers and each City Council while overseeing services for residents in the two cities.
The LPFD is governed by a JPA board of directors -- a subcommittee of city councils -- while the city managers of Livermore and Pleasanton serve as the department's joint executive directors. The JPA has allowed for more efficient administration and cost-effective delivery of fire services in Pleasanton and Livermore, according to leaders with both cities.
Peters holds a bachelor's degree in health science from St. Mary's College and is a graduate of Leadership Pleasanton, Legacy Livermore and Alameda County Leadership Academy. He is also a member of the California Fire Chiefs Association, Alameda County Regional Emergency Communication Center Operations Section and East Bay Regional Communications System Authority.