The City of Malibu has further expanded its Public Safety Team with the appointment of Gabriel Etcheverry as the City’s newest Fire Safety Liaison.
Gabriel is a former Fire Captain and brings decades of firefighting experience to Malibu. Gabriel will work with the City’s Public Safety Team towards the City’s goal of community-wide wildfire preparedness.
“Malibu’s number one public safety threat is wildfire, and the City is committed to being prepared and helping the community be prepared so that we can protect lives and homes, and be more resilient for when the next wildfire strikes,” said Mayor Paul Grisanti. “I welcome Gabriel and encourage every homeowner in Malibu to contact our Fire Safety Liaisons to schedule a home hardening assessment. With every home that is better fortified against wildfires, with proper brush clearance and defensible space, our entire community is safer.”
Gabriel joins Fire Safety Liaison Chris Brossard, a former fire fighter who was hired in 2021. Together they manage the City’s wildfire preparedness and protection programs, including home wildfire hardening inspections, and advise community members, businesses, homeowner associations and other community-based organizations on fire preparedness. As part of this effort, they work to secure federal, state and local grants to fund programs to enhance the City’s wildfire preparedness and response capabilities.
“I have dedicated my life to protecting people and communities from the threat of fires in Southern California, and I am proud to join Malibu, where there could not be a more important mission,” Etcheverry said. “I look forward to meeting with Malibu’s homeowners, businesses, schools and community groups, and doing all that I can to help them in their fire preparedness efforts.”
The Fire Safety Liaisons’ other critical function is to remain in constant communication with the LA County Fire Department. This includes monitoring fire and law enforcement radio communications and reports, responding to fire and emergency incidents in Malibu to coordinate with emergency responders and provide on-scene updates to the City Manager, Public Safety Manager and City Council, and providing updates on Malibu fire conditions.
The Fire Safety Liaison position was created in 2019 as one of the many steps the City took to ramp up Malibu’s wildfire preparedness after the devastating 2018 Woolsey Fire that destroyed nearly 500 homes in Malibu and burned 100,000 acres. Since then, more than 250 free home hardening assessments have been conducted for Malibu homeowners.
Gabriel has lived his entire life in Southern California. He has served for 34 years as a full-time professional firefighter. He served with the LA County Fire Department for 27 years, including 21 years as Captain. Prior to that, he was a firefighter with the La Mesa and Santa Monica Fire Departments.
During his firefighting career, Gabriel has worked in recruit training, urban search and rescue, health hazardous materials, and wildland firefighting training. He retired from the LA County Fire Department in 2014 and has worked for the last seven years as a hazardous materials instructor for UCLA. He also worked for the Counterterrorism Operations Support (CTOS) Center for Radiological/Nuclear Training under the Department of Homeland Security, instructing responders and military personnel on handling radiological and nuclear incidents such as dirty bombs and nuclear detonations. Gabriel has an AA degree in Fire Science, and when he is not working, he enjoys fitness activities and racing in triathlons.
Gabriel is available to advise residents, businesses and organizations on fire preparedness and can be reached at 310-456-2489 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about how to prepare for wildfires at www.MalibuCity.org/FireSafety.
Submitted by Matt Myerhoff, City of Malibu