Chief & Staff Biographies

Fire Chief Steven Hall 

Chief Hall began serving Central Fire Protection District in 2015 as the Assistant Fire Chief and was promoted to Interim Fire Chief in November 2016.  He was promoted to the rank of Fire Chief in May 2017.  His career in the fire service began in 1989 as a volunteer with the City of Patterson Fire Department and West Stanislaus Fire Protection District where he promoted through the ranks of Volunteer Firefighter, Engineer, Lieutenant, Training Officer, and Fire Investigator.  In 2001 he served as the City and District’s Fire Marshal, holding the rank of Division Chief, serving as second in command for both agencies.  In December 2010, he was appointed to Interim Fire Chief following the retirement of Fire Chief Bill Kinnear.   In July 2011, he was promoted to permanent Fire Chief of both the City of Patterson and the West Stanislaus Fire District.

Chief Hall completed his Associates Degree in Fire Science through Modesto Junior College; his Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Studies through California State University, Long Beach; and his Master’s Degree in  Leadership, with a concentration in Executive Fire Leadership and Emergency Preparedness through  Grand Canyon University, Arizona.  He is currently in the process of completing the four-year Executive Fire Officer Program through the National Fire Academy in Emmittsburg, Maryland.  In addition to his formal educational accomplishments, Chief Hall holds numerous certifications through the California Fire Service Training and Education System and the California Specialized Training Institute:  Chief Officer, Fire Instructor, Fire Prevention Officer, Fire Investigator-II, Division/Group Supervisor, Strike Team Leader, SEMS/NIMS Instructor, Emergency Management Specialist, and Hazardous Materials Instructor.  He is committed to improving California’s fire service through community and organizational outreach, and continuously strives to develop his personnel, both professionally and personally with continued emphasis on maximizing their potential.

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Battalion Chief Jeff Breasher

Battalion Chief Breasher began serving Central Fire District in 2016.  He began his career in the fire service in 1981 as a Volunteer Firefighter with the City of Patterson and the West Stanislaus Fire Protection District. In 1983 Chief Breasher was hired as a full-time Fire Engineer with Stanislaus County. He was promoted to Captain and served as the Training Officer, worked in the Fire Prevention Bureau as an Inspector and worked in the Arson Investigation Unit. From 1988 to 2011 Chief Breasher served the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District promoting through the ranks to Fire Captain, including six years as an Acting Battalion Chief. Chief Breasher served the City of Patterson and West Stanislaus Fire District until 2011 as a Division Chief charged with Operations and Training. 

Chief Breasher has an Associates degree in Fire Science from Modesto Junior College and is California State Board of Fire Services certified as a Chief Officer, Fire Officer, Fire Instructor, Public Education Officer and Hazardous Materials Technician.  In addition to his qualifications, Chief Breasher is a certified instructor in the following curriculum:  Auto Extrication, Confined Space Awareness and Operations, Low Angle Rope Rescue, Emergency Trench Shoring, Rescue Systems I and Structural Collapse Technician. He is a State Fire Officer Instructor for Fire Command IA, and IB,  Fire Investigation IA and IB, Fire Management, and Fire Prevention IA and IB.  Lastly, Chief Breasher’s experience includes six years assigned to the FEMA US&R Oakland Task Force 4 as a Rescue Specialist, Safety Officer and Transportation Specialist. Chief Breasher is a California OES Certified/Qualified Strike Team Leader.  Chief Breasher oversees the Urban Search and Rescue, Hazardous Materials, Water Rescue, Personal Protective Equipment, Target Hazards and mapping programs for Central Fire Protection District.

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Battalion Chief Anthony Cefaloni

Battalion Chief Cefaloni is a shift Battalion Chief and oversees support services.  He has held the positions of Firefighter Paramedic and Captain.  Chief Cefaloni has managed the radios and communications systems for Central Fire Protection District since 2000. He holds an Associate’s Degree in Fire Management and an Associate’s Degree in Fire Protection Technology.  He is a state certified Fire Officer and state certified Chief Officer.   Chief Cefaloni started in the fire service in 1986 with the Santa Cruz County Fire Department and has worked for Cal Fire and Pacific Grove Fire Department prior to joining Central Fire Protection District.  He has also served as a paramedic and ski patrol.  He still has strong memories of responding to emergencies the night of and weeks after the Loma Prieta Earthquake.

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Battalion Chief John Walbridge

Battalion Chief Walbridge has been in the professional fire service since 1990 when he worked with Cal Fire.  In 1991 he began his career with the Central Fire Protection District.  His current responsibilities include Emergency Medical Services, Designated Infection Control Officer, Safety Officer, Emergency Response Coordinator, Facilities and Inventory.  Battalion Chief Walbridge’s past duties have included Operations Chief, Apparatus/Equipment, and the Central Fire Investigation Team.  His past assignments have included:  Paid Call Firefighter, Firefighter/Engineer/Paramedic, and Captain Paramedic.  Battalion Chief Walbridge is one of the first three Firefighter/Engineer/Paramedics employed by the Central Fire Protection District.  Battalion Chief Walbridge holds an Associate Degree in Fire Protection Technology from Cabrillo College and a Bachelors Degree in Chemistry from UCSC.  He is also a California State Certified Fire Investigator I, Fire Officer and Chief Officer.  

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Fire Marshal Mike DeMars

Fire Marshal DeMars began his career in the fire service in 1988 as a Paid-Call Firefighter with Central Fire Protection District. Since then he has been employed as a full time Firefighter first with the Lockheed Fire Department in Sunnyvale, California and then with Central Fire Protection District. In 2000 he transferred into the Fire Prevention Division at Central Fire Protection District as a Fire Inspector.  He was promoted to the position of Fire Marshal in 2016.  As the Fire Marshal, Mike is responsible for managing the Fire Prevention Division. This includes supervising fire inspections of new and existing buildings, investigation of fire causes, review of construction plans, and public fire safety education. He is a state certified Fire Prevention Officer, Public Education Officer, Fire Investigator and serves the District as its Public Information Officer. Mike is a member of the Northern California Fire Prevention Officers Association and serves on the Public Education Committee. He has an AS degree in Fire Technology. Prior to his career in the fire service, Chief DeMars served for eight years in the U.S. Coast Guard. During his Coast Guard service, he was trained as a shipboard firefighting instructor. 

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Business Services Manager Nancy Dannhauser

Nancy Dannhauser has been with the Central Fire Protection District since June 2015.  Prior to joining the District she worked in the private sector where she held various roles as Senior Finance Analyst, Portfolio Manager and Finance Manager.  As a finance professional with 10 + years of experience in financial planning, analysis, budgeting and reporting, she possesses an MBA in Finance as well as a Bachelors in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance.  She currently oversees the District’s Finance Division which is responsible for general accounting services, budget development, annual audit and financial planning.  She is also responsible for the District’s Computer Network Administration, involving system upgrades, enhancements and implementation of new technology.  She is a member of the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) and the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers (CSMFO).  She also currently serves as a budget reviewer for the GFOA budget awards program. 

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Administrative Services Manager Gena Finch

Joining Central Fire in December 2015, Gena came to us from the County of Santa Cruz where she specialized in Human Resources for over 18 years. She oversees the Administrative Services Division which is responsible for the recruitment and hiring of new staff, payroll, employee benefits and risk management. In addition, Gena handles all Public Records Act requests, vendor contracts, and Board agendas. She is a member of the Administrative Fire Services Section of the California Fire Chiefs Association (AFSS) and the Public Agency Risk Management Association (PARMA). Gena has been a volunteer with the Santa Cruz County Search and Rescue team for three years. 

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