Riverside County names Shawn Newman new fire chief.
Photo courtesy Riverside County Fire

Effective Wednesday, Aug. 1, Shawn C. Newman is the new Cal Fire Riverside Unit and Riverside County Fire Department fire chief.

Newman began his career with Cal Fire in 1989, as a seasonal firefighter in the San Bernardino Unit and in 1994, promoted to firefighter II in the Riverside Unit, working in West Riverside.

In 2001, he promoted to fire apparatus engineer, and worked in assignments under the Riverside Cooperative Agreement as well as in state mission stations.

In 2006, Newman accepted a position as fire captain at the Norco and Bautista Conservation camps.

He promoted to battalion chief in 2012, assigned to the California Institute for Women Female Inmate Training Center and later the Elsinore Battalion.

During his assignments in the Conservation Camp Program, he participated in training syllabus revision working groups for the fire Crew Firefighter and Fire Protection Training handbooks.

In 2016, Newman promoted to assistant chief at the Southern Region Office assigned to FIRESCOPE and worked as the intelligence section supervisor at the Cal Fire Southern Region Operations Center.

Newman promoted to deputy chief in 2017, overseeing Contract County contract management, FIRESCOPE, Intelligence and SCOUT.

In addition to the training syllabus working groups, Newman also has participated in the Liaison Officer/Agency Representative Instructor Cadre, and is one of four qualified MCCO MACS representatives at Cal Fire Southern Region’s headquarters.

He also has participated as an active member of the Critical Incident Stress Management Team and served as the unit coordinator and a peer support counselor.

“It is truly my honor and privilege to return to the Riverside Unit as the fire chief and support the men and women of Cal Fire and the Riverside County Fire Department who respond to and serve the communities within Riverside County each and every day,” said Newman.

Newman replaces John Hawkins, whom Cal Fire removed Jan. 19 from his position and temporarily replaced him with Dan Talbot, deputy chief for the county’s eastern operations. Cal Fire never explained the sudden removal. Talbot has returned to his former position.