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County of Sonoma

For Immediate Release: August 17, 2011

Christopher Helgren Promoted to Sonoma County Emergency Manager

Santa Rosa, CA (August 17, 2011) - Effective August 12, 2011, Christopher Helgren was appointed as the new Emergency Manager for the Sonoma County Fire and Emergency Services Department. County Administrator and County Director of Emergency Services Veronica A. Ferguson stated, Chris brings a wealth of experience which will bolster our emergency response capacity in Sonoma County.

Sonoma County Fire and Emergency Services Fire Chief, Mark Aston commented, I am extremely confident Chris will provide the community with the critical emergency management and preparedness planning. We need to be safe, organized and prepared for whatever natural disasters may come our way. Chris has the leadership ability to ensure our readiness. Chris brings a well rounded experience base largely fostered under the mentorship of Sandy Covall-Alves who he succeeds in this position. Sandy’s accomplishments are many as she was instrumental in leading the Emergency Management Division in its efforts to prepare for and manage our response to disasters here in Sonoma County.

Christopher Helgren worked as an Emergency Coordinator in the Sonoma County Fire and Emergency Services Department for over 11 years. He has been an integral part of the Emergency Management Division and his areas of responsibility included: Managing the Homeland Security grant programs, maintaining the County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in a constant state of readiness, and managing the County’s 135-member volunteer Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS). Recently, he completed the Sonoma County Management Academy 10, and earned his Supervisory Certificate from Santa Rosa Junior College.

Christopher Helgren in response to his appointment stated, It is an honor to continue serving the residents of Sonoma County in this new position. Emergency preparedness is one of the most critical roles for government, and I look forward to our efforts to strengthen our capabilities.

Christopher Helgren brings a breadth of personal and professional experience to his new role. He has worked as an automobile mechanic and a firefighter, managed and directed a multiple store retail loss prevention program and is an eight year veteran of the US Air Force. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in History at Sonoma State and an Associate of Arts in Fire Science from Santa Rosa Junior College.

Public and community service is a big part of Christopher’s and his family’s life. His oldest daughter, son-in-law and his new grandson serve in the US Air Force at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho. Christopher volunteers as the Cub Scout Master for Pack 1 at St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church, and is the Treasurer and a Board Member for Better Beginnings for Babies, a non-profit in Santa Rosa. He lives in Rohnert Park with his wonderful wife and three children. In addition, his family is an emergency foster home for the County, currently home to three young foster sons.

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Department Contact Information

Contact:
Terri Bolduc
Administrative Division Manager
Fire and Emergency Services
County of Sonoma
Address:
2300 County Center Drive, Suite 220 B,
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Email:
Phone:
(707) 565-1152 Work
Website:
www.sonoma-county.org/fire