Santa Clara County Names First Female Fire Chief

The Santa Clara County Fire Department has advanced its first headquarters this month.

Suwanna Kerdkaew, the former deputy head of the department, was appointed last week by the county board of supervisors. She replaces former Chief Tony Bowden, who retired after being on injury leave.

Kerdkaew is a 20-year veteran firefighter who worked in the biotechnology industry before becoming a firefighter, having volunteered at organizations like Habitat for Humanity and hospitals in San Francisco.

She took up her new position on April 20 as the tenth and first female commander in the department’s 75-year history.

Since being hired in 2002, Kerdkaew has served as a firefighter, engineer, paramedic, captain, battalion commander, deputy commander and assistant chief. She instructed the department in complex situations, such as multiple deployments for major fires across the country.

“I am pleased to appoint Savannah Cardau to the new Santa Clara County Fire Department,” said Mike Wasserman, president of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, at the April 19 inspectors meeting. “Her extensive experience in the department has made her an ideal candidate for the position. I have no doubt that her experienced decision-making ability and dedication to inter-ministerial cooperation will help maintain the safety of Santa Clara County residents.”

“Chief Kerdkaew served in the county fire during times of great challenges – like the SCU Lightning Complex fires in 2020 – while also adapting to the effects of the COVID-19 epidemic,” he said.

“I am proud and humble to be appointed to this position,” Kardkao said. “I am committed to excellence and advanced decision-making, as the Santa Clara County Fire Department continues to address the evolving challenges facing our province and state.”

Santa Clara County Names First Female Fire Chief Source link Santa Clara County Names First Female Fire Chief

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