Fire Administration Bios

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Fire Chief John Heilmann

Fire Chief John HeilmannJohn Heilmann joined the West Sacramento Fire Department on April 17, 2015. Prior to coming to West Sacramento, Chief Heilmann served as Deputy Fire Chief of the Training and Safety Division at UC Davis Fire. While there he provided leadership, management, and coordination of the department's training, professional development, and safety programs and was responsible for these programmatic areas for the City of Davis Fire Department through an inter-local agreement between the two agencies. Additionally, Chief Heilmann oversaw the operation of the West Valley Regional Fire Training Consortium (WVRFTC), which coordinates training among the UC Davis, City of Davis, Woodland, and West Sacramento fire departments.

Chief Heilmann began his career in the fire service as a volunteer firefighter with the Kentfield Fire Protection District while attending Marin Catholic High School in Kentfield, California. Following that, he attended Chabot College and San Jose State University where he participated in intercollegiate athletics and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology. After graduating from college Chief Heilmann joined the Marinwood Community Service District as a Cadet Firefighter. In January 1998 he was hired as a Firefighter by the West Sacramento Fire Department. He was promoted to the position of Engineer in 2001 and Captain in 2003 where he served for five years. In 2008, he was promoted to the rank of Fire Division Chief of the Training Division where he served until May 2012 when he was hired as Deputy Fire Chief at UC Davis Fire. Chief Heilmann is married to his high school sweetheart, Moira, and has two children, Rosey and Lily.

Steve Binns, Deputy Chief

Steve Binns, a lifelong resident of West Sacramento, began his career as a Reserve Firefighter for the City of West Sacramento Fire Department in 1990. Simultaneously, he worked as a truck driver for Tony's Fine Foods and attended Fire Science classes through American River College. He graduated Paramedic school from Northern California Training Institute in 1997 and was hired by the City of Davis Fire Department in 1998 as a Firefighter. After working three years for the City of Davis Fire Department, Steve was hired by the City of West Sacramento Fire Department as a Firefighter in 2001. He spent two years as a Firefighter before being promoted to the rank of Engineer in 2003. In December of 2005, Steve was promoted to the rank of Captain. He was nominated as "Firefighter of the Year" in 2011 and promoted to the rank of Battalion Chief in 2012. Steve was promoted to the rank of Deputy Chief in January 2017. He has been married for 17 years to his wife Lynn and has two children, Hunter and Fallon.

Scott Pfeifer, Battalion Chief

Scott Pfeifer began his career as a seasonal firefighter with CAL Fire in 2000. Scott was hired with the West Sacramento Fire department in 2001. He attended the Sacramento Regional Fire academy and graduated in June 2001. Scott promoted to Engineer in 2003 and was awarded as “Firefighter of the Year” that same year. In 2007 he promoted to the rank of Captain, a position he held until 2014 when he was promoted to the rank of Battalion Chief. He currently works in the office as an Administrative Battalion Chief. Scott earned a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education from the University of Nevada Reno and an associate’s degree in Fire Technology from Solano College. He is also a state certified Chief Officer. He resides in Davis with his wife, Heidi, and two children, Ryan and Harper.

Josh Calista, Battalion Chief

Josh Calista began his career with the West Sacramento Fire Department in 2003. Growing up Josh developed a passion for the fire service as he watched his father serve for 32 years as a Firefighter and Engineer for the Woodland Fire Department. He attended the Sacramento Regional Fire academy and graduated in March 2004. Josh promoted to Engineer in 2007 and in 2011 he promoted to the rank of Captain, a position he held until 2016 when he was promoted to the rank of Battalion Chief. As a Training Officer, and continuous student of the Fire Service, he has been fortunate to exchange information on the topics of Engine and Truck Company Operations, Firefighter Survival, Rapid Intervention, and Thermal Imaging Cameras. He has been an Instructor at the Regional Fire Academy and is a member of the Sacramento USAR Team (CA TF-7). Prior to joining the West Sacramento Fire Department, Josh attended the University of San Diego where he enjoyed playing NCAA Football and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in 2002.

Mark Cullison, Battalion Chief 

Battalion Chief west sac

Mark Cullison began his career with the West Sacramento Fire Department in 2002. Prior to joining the WSFD and while pursuing a bachelor’s degree at UC Davis in biological sciences, Mark worked as a student resident firefighter for the UC Davis Fire Department.  Upon graduating from college, Mark was hired as a firefighter with the WSFD and attended the Sacramento Regional Fire Academy.  He was promoted to Engineer in 2006, to Captain in 2009, and to Battalion Chief in 2017.  Mark is a state certified Fire Officer and was recognized as the “Firefighter of the Year” in 2008.  Mark has assisted in securing supplemental grant funding for the department on several occasions for both personnel and equipment, and has worked in various administrative capacities.  He currently resides in Davis with his wife and children.

Bryan Jonson, Fire Marshal

Bryan Jonson, Fire MarshalBryan works in the Prevention Division as the Fire Marshal. He began his employment with the City of West Sacramento in April of 2008. Prior to coming to West Sacramento, Bryan worked in the fire service for twelve years as a volunteer firefighter for the town of Courtland, CA. Bryan was recruited from an environmental compliance managerial position in the petroleum industry. Because of his experience and extensive knowledge in hazardous materials and the regulations that govern them, made him a perfect fit for the job. In his professional career Bryan has held many licenses and certifications such as Lifeguard, HAZWOPER Technician, Powered Industrial Truck Trainer, Risk Manager, Safety Coordinator, Safety Director, Emergency Medical Technician, UST Designated Operator, Hazardous Materials Technician, and Fire Investigator along with many others. Bryan is currently working on completing his Bachelors of Science in Fire Administration at Cogswell College and the National Fire Academy.

Rebecca Leda, Fire Inspector

Rebecca Leda joined the West Sacramento Fire Department as a Fire Inspector in June 2015 and is the newest addition to our Fire Prevention Division. Rebecca's experience extends from a Sonoma County fire municipality to a San Francisco real estate development firm to her education all the way down in Southern California. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Urban Studies and Anthropology from California State University, San Francisco, as well as her Master's degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of California, Irvine. Rebecca's professional experience in fire administration, public education, and firefighting with the City of Healdsburg Fire Department made her the ideal fit for our team.

Lynda Vargas, Administrative Analyst

Lynda was hired as a Financial Specialist for the West Sacramento Fire Department in July 2013 and was promoted to Administrative Analyst in July 2016. She was originally hired by the City of West Sacramento in November 1996 and worked in the Public Works department and the City Manager's office. In 2000, she left the City to work at the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG). Four years later she returned to the City of West Sacramento, working in Redevelopment and the City Manager’s Office once again before transferring to the Fire Department. Lynda is a graduate of California State University, Chico, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies. She lives with her family in West Sacramento.

Lindsay Dyer, Secretary

Lindsay Dyer joined the West Sacramento Fire Department as a Secretary in October 2014 and works in accounts payable. Lindsay grew up in Livermore where she worked for the Livermore Police Department as a Community Service Specialist. During her time with the Livermore PD, she was part of the Crime Scene Unit and often dressed as Daren the Lion at DARE graduation ceremonies. She also worked as as substitute teacher for the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District. Lindsay is a graduate of California State University, East Bay, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies.

Dan Anderson, Secretary

Dan joined the West Sacramento Fire Department as a Secretary in April 2017 and is the newest addition to the Fire Prevention Division. Dan began his career with the City as a Senior Clerk in the Parks and Recreation Department and now looks forward to assisting with the Fire Department's future needs. Although a current resident of the Sacramento region, he originally comes from Novato in the North Bay. His previous experience includes working in the legal support industry in Sacramento and the Bay Area. His school experience includes attending California State University, Chico, studying abroad for a semester in Guadalajara, Mexico, and earning a BA in Latin American Studies from Dominican University of California. He has been married for seven years to his wife, Brittney, and has a young son named Finnon.