Imperial County

Fire Department &

Office of Emergency Services

Imperial County 50th Year History Video

Mission Statement

The mission statement of the Imperial County Fire department and Office of Emergency Services is to enhance the quality of life, environment, and safety of our community in an atmosphere of courtesy, integrity, and quality service. The strength of this organization will ultimately resolve itself into the strength of the individuals composing it. Therefore, it is necessary that all members place before them the ideal of the best service to the citizenry and then strive diligently to serve that ideal.

Vision Statement

It is the vision of Imperial County Fire Department to continue to be identified as an all-hazards, all-risk public service provider by producing highly trained, customer service oriented firefighters, and developing a department which aligns with the strategic plan of the Imperial County.

Strategic Goals

  1. Provide service that holds true to the Mission Statement of the Imperial County Fire Department, an overall mission of providing high quality customer service and emergency response to all citizens.
  2. Continue to develop, maintain, and implement Public Safety programs for making the community resilient from both natural and man-made disasters.
  3. Maintain and ensure Imperial County Fire Department is fiscally sustainable.
  4. Develop and maintain training, recruitment, health and wellness, apparatus, and equipment programs that reflect local, State, and Federal standards and recommendations.

Organizational Values

"Prevent, Protect & Provide"

A message from Fire Chief David Lantzer

Picture of Fire Chief David Lantzer

Fire Chief David Lantzer entered the fire service in 1987 as a reserve firefighter for the City of Holtville but really cut his teeth serving Calexico from 1990 to 2004. There he held the positions of firefighter/paramedic, acting engineer, and captain. He returned to Holtville as fire chief in 2004 and moved onto Hermosa Beach in Los Angeles County in 2008. He served as fire chief there until going to the City of Murrieta in 2015, serving almost four years as the deputy chief with Murrieta Fire & Rescue before his promotion to fire chief in July 2019. David retired in October 2021, but couldn’t stay away and now serves as fire chief for the City of Imperial in his role as county fire chief since August 2023.

Chief Lantzer earned a master’s degree in public administration from San Diego State University and a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). He is a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy, the Los Angeles Fire Department Leadership Academy (West Point curriculum) and is a credentialed Chief Fire Officer through the Commission on Professional Credentialing (part of the Center for Public Safety Excellence, or CPSE). The past 13 years he has serve as an accreditation peer assessor (the last four years as team leader) for the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI), which is also a part of CPSE. As an accreditation manager, he guided Murrieta Fire & Rescue toward accredited agency status in 2017.

Chief Lantzer has served as the president of the Imperial Valley Fire Chiefs Association and Secretary of the Los Angeles Area Fire Chiefs Association and Riverside County Fire Chiefs Association.

He has been married for 34 years to his soulmate, Juana, and they have two sons. One served in the Marine Corps (and still works with USMC as a contractor) and another is still serving in the US Army. David and Juana have four grandchildren, three handsome boys and a beautiful girl. They also have a third child who still lives at home: he is a 12 year old miniature poodle named Jake!


The Fire Prevention Bureau is located at our Station #1, located at 2514 La Brucherie Imperial, Ca. 92251. The Bureau consists of the Fire Chief assuming the duties of the Fire Marshal, Deputy Fire Marshal, 1 Fire Prevention Specialist, and 1 Fire Code Inspector.

The purpose of the Imperial County Fire Prevention Program is to assist in preventing injuries, deaths, business interruption and property damages resulting from fires and other emergencies.

Robert Malek

Robert Malek

Deputy Fire Marshal

Throughout the calendar year The Bureau is active in Public Education. Presentations are given to many different audiences from local businesses, public safety entities, healthcare providers, and local schools. During Fire Prevention Week in October alone, the Bureau will give presentations to approximately 3000 Children from grades K-3.

The Bureau currently enforces the 2010 California Fire, Building, Electrical, County Ordinances, as amended by the County of Imperial Municipal Code, in addition to National Fire Protection Association standards; Title 19, of the California Public Safety Code; and, the California Health and Safety Code.

This Fire Prevention Bureau also conducts an annual fire inspection program. This program is intended to help protect the business owners, employees and patrons. This program is made possible by utilizing the in-service fire engine companies. This improves the safety of the business being conducted in the County, but also allows the engine companies pre-plan the facilities and meet the business owners, management and employees

Imperial County Fire Hazard Abatement Process.

1 - Initial Property surveys are conducted in unincorporated areas of Imperial County as well as contract cities upon receiving a complaint.

2- A Notice of Code Violation is issued to surveyed properties that are identified as a fire hazard by Imperial County Fire Department officials.

3- A 30 day notice to comply is issued certified mailed to legal property owner to contact the Imperial County Fire Department within 30 days of receiving the notice.

4- If fire hazard has not been abated within 30 days or contact made with Imperial County Fire Department, a 15 day notice to comply is issued to legal property owner to abate the fire hazard.

5- If property owner does not comply within 15 day notice, Imperial County Fire Department shall forward the Notice of Code Violation to Imperial County Planning and Development Office to place a notice of Code Violation within the property file.

6- Notice of Code Violation is forwarded to Imperial County Legal Counsel for further legal action upon non-complaint after the 30 day and 15 day notices are received and the fire hazard(s) are not abated.

7- Imperial County Legal Counsel will pursue legal options on obtaining compliance and abatement of the fire hazard(s).

8- Imperial County Fire Department may issue fees and citations as stated within Imperial County Fire Department fee schedule for abatement process.

For submitting a weed abatement complaint, please email Fire Prevention Specialist Lieutenant Andrew Loper at:

Division of Training

The training division is progressive and responsible for improving firefighting and rescue capability through recruitment, physical fitness, in-service and specialized training, and State Fire Training certification. We foster relevant training, and a strong desire to acquire knowledge and strive for excellence at each opportunity. This desire is reflected through promoting a continual movement towards a higher level of education, and performance in a positive environment. Our agency has a broad range of certified personnel and instructors which include but not limited to: hazardous materials, arson investigation, aircraft firefighting, confined space, advanced and basic life support, rescue systems, explosive technician, and other related functions. The division maintains a digital library of books, manuals, videos, and other visual training aids that meet federal and state requirements. In addition, the training division conducts regular exercises, live fire drills, and specialized training, to ensure that consistent and effective emergency services continue to be provided to the citizens and visitors of Imperial County. A 45 foot, two-story mobile burn trailer is located on site which enables the training of firefighters in a controlled environment. The burn trailer is shared via a mutual agreement amongst the local agencies. All live-fire evolutions conform to NFPA 1403, Standard on Live Fire Training Evolutions in Structures.

The training division is also responsible for training all new members entering the Department, consisting of full-time, part-time, and volunteers. On a monthly basis training officers provide a minimal average of 20 hours of training to each firefighter. To maintain medical licensure for all Department members, 24 hours of Continuing Education are provided every 2 years for our EMT's, and 48 hours every 2 years for our paramedics. Each certification is closely monitored to ensure quality assurance.


The three shifts are supervised by an on-duty Battalion Chief. The on-duty Battalion Chief can be reached 24-7 at 442-265-3010.

Battalion Chief Christian Guzman is the A Shift supervisor.

Battalion Chief Hector Garcia is the B Shift supervisor.

Battalion Chief Oscar Robles is the C Shift supervisor.

The Imperial County Fire Department provides many different services to the unincorporated communities of the county, townships and the City of Imperial. Those services include

Fire Protection
Medical (BLS/ALS)
Aircraft Rescue Firefighting
Technical Rescue
Hazardous Material and Hazardous Devices incident responses

The department accomplishes this through nine stations and six contracting agencies. The nine stations that are manned by Imperial County Firefighters are on a three shift system, “A” Shift, “B” Shift and “C” Shift. The nine Imperial County Fire Department stations are located in the communities of Heber, Seeley, Ocotillo, Palo Verde, Niland, Winterhaven, Salton City and the City of Imperial. The department contracts with Brawley, Calipatria, Holtville and Westmorland.

Each of the county fire stations is staffed with a Captain, Firefighter and Reserve Firefighter with the only exception being Ocotillo Station is staffed with one senior Firefighter and one Reserve Firefighter and Palo Verde station that is staffed with two Reserve Firefighters. Every station has a Type I engine as its primary apparatus. The City of Imperial and Heber stations also house a Ladder Truck along with the Type I engine. The Seeley and Heber stations also house Type III engines.

Fleet Service

The Imperial County Fire Department is responsible for the maintanance and service of a vast fleet of emergency response vehicles, tools and equipment. The departments full time mechanics are experienced and trained in accord to California State Fire Mechanics Academy. This allows them to troubleshoot a variety of issues while working with complex apparatus.

Fire Vehicle
Fire Vehicle
Fire Vehicle

Contact Information

The Imperial County Fire Department and Office of Emergency Services hopes that you find this website user friendly. We are pleased to provide the appropriate information that you may be looking for. If there is something that you could not find and need to make direct contact, please feel free to contact one of the divisions shown below.

Office hours are from 07:00 - 16:00 hours Monday - Friday


Fire Chief/OES Coordinator

1078 Dogwood Rd. Heber, CA 92249 (442) 265-6000


Salvador Flores

Deputy Chief

1078 Dogwood Rd. Heber, CA 92249 (442) 265-6000


Robert Malek

Deputy Fire Marshal

1078 Dogwood Rd. Heber, CA 92249 (442) 265-6000


On duty Battalion Chief

2514 La Brucherie Rd. Imperial, CA 92251 (442) 265-3000


1078 Dogwood Rd. Heber, CA 92249 (442) 265-6000


1078 Dogwood Rd. Heber, CA 92249 (442) 265-6000


Mark Schmidth

Emergency Communications Project Coordinator

1078 Dogwood Rd. Heber, CA 92249 (442) 265-6000

Reminder Image

Imperial County Fire Department and Office of Emergency Services would like to remind all residents that changing your clocks is also a good time to test your smoke alarms. Be sure to change replaceable batteries if needed:

  • Smoke alarms with non-replaceable 10-year batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps, warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away.
  • Smoke alarms with any other type of battery need a new battery at least once a year. If that alarm chirps, warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.
  • When replacing a battery, follow manufacturer’s list of batteries on the back of the alarm or manufacturer’s instructions. Manufacturer’s instructions are specific to the batteries (brand and model) that must be used. The smoke alarm may not work properly if a different kind of battery is used.