SJ names two fire battalion chiefs

Riverside County Fire Department welcomes Dan Harris and Richard Tovar

Photo by Kyle Selby / The Valley Chronicle
Richard Tovar, Chief Bill Weiser, and Dan Harris.

■ By Kyle Selby / Reporter

Much to the pleasure of the crowd on Tuesday night, the San Jacinto City Council meeting wrapped up in about an hour. Council issued a proclamation for Mental Health Month (May) and Fire Chief Bill Weiser introduced Dan Harris and Richard Tovar, the two newest battalion chiefs to Riverside County Fire Department, who have been appointed to Battalion 5.
“Dan started his career in 1988 as a volunteer firefighter in Wildomar, he worked for the U.S. Forest service for a year, and with Cal Fire as a firefighter for six seasons,” Weiser said. “Then he got promoted and went to Tulare and worked out there for a little bit, then he came back to Riverside as an engineer and was promoted to captain in 2002. He worked for the camps and he ran some of our crews. From there he took a permanent job as captain and went to Station 7 in Sun City where he’s worked on trucks, command centers, and many other extensions as a captain.
“In 2016 he did promote to battalion chief and has been working in Jurupa Valley, but just transferred to here in San Jacinto this last month,” Weiser added.
“Next to him is Richard Tovar,” said Weiser, who noted he “was just promoted to Battalion chief last month, and he was captain prior to that. Before that, he was an engineer in Palm Desert, and he’s worked as a firefighter for a year as well.
“I’m excited to have them both assigned here,” Wieser concluded. “It’s going to be good to have our ranks put back up to where they need to be at battalion-chief level.”
“You guys do a good job,” said Mayor Crystal Ruiz. “Thank you and stay safe, please.”
City Manager Rob Johnson also asked Chief Weiser to disclose exactly how much the city of San Jacinto is paying for the new battalion chief promotions.
“The City of San Jacinto, for the three chief officers, pays for 41 percent of one battalion chief,” responded Weiser, which was met by applause from staff, the council, and the audience.

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