Meadow Valley Fire Chief to retire; successor sought

Meadow Valley Fire Chief Ron Heinbockel is retiring after 45 years. Photo submitted

After 45 year of service and 10 years as Fire Chief, Ron Heinbockel will be retiring from Meadow Valley Fire Department at the end of the year.

“I am proud of my years of service which have had many accomplishments, including a state-of-the-art new fire station and the outstanding membership of dedicated firefighters,” said Heinbockel. He added that he is thankful for the years of support from community members and volunteers. He added that while it has been a difficult decision to retire, “It is time to think about my future as a civilian and retire my turnouts and pager.”

Gregg Hagwood, who has worked with Heinbockel over the years both as Plumas County Sheriff and now as the District 4 Supervisor representing Meadow Valley, described the fire chief as a “consummate professional and a tremendous asset to this county.” Hagwood said, “His commitment and expertise — especially during times of crisis — are to be commended. He was always calm under ‘fire’ and always a pleasure to work with.”

Quincy Fire Chief Robbie Cassou has worked closely with Heinbockel for the past 30-plus years, including when Heinbockel worked for the Forest Service. Cassou said that Heinbockel brought expertise from that work to the fire department in Meadow Valley. “He always has been a pleasure to work with and was very involved in our mutual aid system,” Cassou said.


The Meadow Valley Fire Protection District accepted Heinbockel’s retirement during its Oct. 26 commissioners meeting and held a follow-up closed session meeting Nov. 14 to discuss the transition and hiring process for soliciting a new Meadow Valley Fire Department Chief. The District is asking interested individuals to submit a letter of interest to Secretary Stirling via email ([email protected]) or by letter to PO Box 130 Meadow Valley, CA 95956 by December 15, 2022. A formal application process and job posting to follow.