A new fire chief has been appointed to the Ventura County Fire Department (VCFD). Dustin Gardner, 46, started his first day as fire chief Saturday, February 5. He has been with the VCFD for over 20 years, and was previously working as their deputy fire chief.

Gardner stepped into the position after the previous fire chief, Mark Lorenzen, left his county post. Lorenzen, 58, accepted a position as a fire chief in San Mateo County.

“Our communities will be well served by Chief Gardner,” Lorenzen said. “He has demonstrated his commitment and compassion to those we serve over the course of his career and will be a good steward of the District’s resources.”

Gardner is now the 12th fire chief for the county fire department since it was formed in 1928.

“I am deeply honored to be appointed as the next Ventura County Fire Chief. I believe the dedicated people that serve the Ventura County Fire Department are among the most talented in today’s fire service,” Gardner said.

The County Fire Chief is responsible for planning and managing the operations of the Fire District as well as a variety of community service functions, and more.

District 5 Ventura County Supervisor Carmen Ramirez says that the people of Ventura County can be confident in Gardner’s experience, skills, and heart to serve.

“I offer my congratulations and thanks along with that of my fellow supervisors,” Ramirez said.