Fire Chief Richard C. Hutchinson Jr.

Chief Hutchinson started his firefighting career on July 22, 1980 when at the age of 16 he was hired as a Reserve Fire Firefighter by the Poway Fire Department.  On August 27, 1982 Rick was hired as a Seasonal Firefighter by the California Department of Forestry / CAL FIRE in the San Diego Unit. Over the next thirty-two years Rick Worked in the Tulare, Santa Clara and San Benito – Monterey CAL FIRE units.

He promoted through the ranks working in both state and local government operations, Air Attack Base, Emergency Command Center and Training programs. Chief Hutchinson was appointed to the position of Assistant Chief on August 14, 2000 overseeing business services functions, field operations, Conservation Camp and Logistics programs.

On January 1, 2010, Chief Hutchinson was appointed as the San Benito-Monterey Unit Chief where he served as Unit Chief for the unit and Fire Chief for Aromas Tri-County Fire Protection District (FPD), Carmel Highlands FPD, Cypress FPD, CSU Monterey Bay Fire and Emergency Services, Mission – Soledad FPD, Pebble Beach Community Services District Fire Department, City of Soledad Fire Department and South Monterey County FPD.

June 22, 2014 Rick retired from firefighting - however - on October 1, 2017, Rick was appointed as Interim Fire Chief for the North County Fire Protection District and is very happy and honored to have the opportunity to lead our District into the future.

Rick lives in Gonzales with his wife Pam. They have two daughters Stephani and Amanda and four grand children Emily, Jake, Sarah and Devin.

  • Tulare Unit/Tulare County Fire Department Fire Fighter of the Year in 1996
  • Finance Section Chief on CAL FIRE Incident Command Team 2, 2002-2003
  • Incident Commander of CAL FIRE Incident Command Team 9, 2008 & 2009

Division Chief Joe Pastore                       Communications and Maintenance

Under construction.

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Division Chief Humberto Arista                             Training and Operations

Chief Arista started his career in the fire service in 1988 (Salinas Rural Fire Protection District, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Naval Post Graduate School Fire Department, North County Fire Protection District) and has been a Chief Officer for the North County Fire District for over 10 years.  As the Chief of Training and Operations, Chief Arista manages Training, Operational Policies and Procedures, Firefighter Recruitment, EMS, Probationary Firefighters, The Reserve Firefighter Program, Personal Protective Equipment, Worker's Compensation and Uniforms.  Chief Arista is the past President of Monterey County Fire Chiefs Association and served on the executive board for 5 years.  Chief Arista has an AS Degree in Fire Science, a California State Fire Marshal's Chief Officers Certificate, Fire Instructor, and is a Qualified Strike Team Leader.


Division Chief Joel Mendoza                                                 Fire Marshal


Administrative Officer Carolina Bravo

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Administrative Assistant Casey Hendricks