“Professionalism” refers to a level of competence and expertise which applies equally to firefighters who are paid for their services and to those who volunteer their services. 

I like to think and honestly believe that this statement is a reflection of the dedication and Lon Winburn, Fire Chiefcommitment shown by the firefighters of the Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department, consisting of an extraordinary group of men and women that are willing to put in the time and effort to develop their knowledge, skills and abilities in order to assist their community when the need arises. We have been fortunate to have had some tremendous leadership over the years, bringing us to where we are today and are all very proud to continue the long standing tradition of community service that this Fire Department has been known for.

Our Fire Department has witnessed an immense amount of change over the past 10 years, accelerated training programs, a huge growth in our public education and fire prevention programs, the addition of an Explorer program to name a few. Keeping all of this growth contained in a manageable format is not something that could be accomplished without the help and dedication of all of our people.

Speaking of change, something that has always come very hard to the fire service, brings to mind the realization that we have to do a better job of analyzing the risk before we commit our people to the task. The fire services’ gravitation towards the concept of risk management has been very positive. Our training now focuses on the ideals of risk management, “risk a lot to save a lot, risk little to save little, risk nothing to save nothing” with the objective being “Everybody Goes Home”.

The fire service in general has always been held in very high esteem, noted for such traits as honesty, integrity, bravery and compassion with even higher regard after the events of 9-11. Our goal is and should always be to maintain that culture in the fire service which is, to say the least, a difficult task. We will continue, as those before us, to do our best to mentor and guide our younger members to be a part of that culture passing along the traditions that have made both the fire service and this fire department what it is today.

Lon Winburn

Fire Chief ~ Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department