Morgan Hill Times
CalFire this week announced the appointment of George Huang as Unit Chief of the Santa Clara Unit, which is based in Morgan Hill. Under the city’s partnership with CalFire, Huang will also serve as the chief of the Morgan Hill Fire Department, according to city officials.
Huang brings a 20-year firefighting career to his new post, where he will oversee CalFire operations for not only the City of Morgan Hill, but also the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Western San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties.
Huang began his new post on March 15. He is replacing former SCU and MHFD Chief Jake Hess, who served in the role for the last 3.5 years, says a press release from the city.
“We are excited to have Chief Huang join our Morgan Hill Leadership Team and look forward to the continued excellent fire service under his leadership,” Morgan Hill City Manager Christina Turner said. “While we are sad to see Chief Hess go, we are grateful that he continues to serve Morgan Hill and much of California in his new role.”
Hess was recently promoted to the position of 2 Star Chief of Northern California, where he oversees numerous units in 22 counties and the CalFire Northern Region Administration in Santa Rosa.
Huang’s fire service career started in 2002 with CalFire, as a firefighter I in the San Luis Obispo unit. In 2005, he transferred to the SCU, where he was assigned to Alma Helitack Base.
In 2008, Huang accepted a Fire Apparatus Engineer position in San Luis Obispo and was assigned to the Parkhill Station, says the press release. In 2010, he was promoted to Fire Apparatus Engineer and was assigned to Creston Station. In 2012, he was promoted to Fire Captain, assigned to Paso Robles Station. In 2013, Huang transferred to the Training Bureau, where he was the coordinator for Allan Hancock Community College Firefighter I Academies, Firefighter I Rehire Academies, SLO County Volunteer Firefighter Academies and the CalFire Basic Firefighter Academy.
In 2017, Huang was promoted to Battalion Chief and was assigned to the Training Bureau, where he managed both state and county training requirements, according to the press release. In 2019, he transferred to the North Coast Battalion, where he supervised and managed five fire stations including a Paramedic station in the Los Osos Community Fire District, Estero Bay County Fire Station, Cambria Amador Fire Station, Cayucos Fire Station and Morro Toro Volunteer Fire Station.
In 2020, Huang was promoted to Assistant Chief of Administration in the SCU.
Huang served for 12 years on different Incident Management Teams as a qualified Type I Finance Section Chief, Type I Safety Officer, and most recently appointed as the Incident Commander for CalFire Incident Management Team 1, according to city staff.
Huang is also a Certified Registered State Fire Marshal (SFM) Instructor. He holds an A.S. degree in Fire Science and an A.A. degree in General Studies from Mission College in Santa Clara.