Chief Stefano commands the Prevention, Administration, Arson and Terrorism/ Disaster Preparedness Divisions of the department. After graduating from the University of Southern California, Chief Stefano elected to put his talents to public service rather than enter the private sector. Hired as a firefighter in December 1994, he has held the ranks of firefighter/paramedic, captain, and battalion chief prior to his promotion to the rank of Deputy Chief in November 2012. Prior to his promotion to a management position, Chief Stefano also served as the president of the local firefighters’ association for two years. In this capacity, he worked hard to build positive labor relations between with the City and the fire department administration.
In addition to commanding the three divisions, Chief Stefano has also managed the Fire Department Fleet Program as a collateral duty for the past 6 years. This responsibility is crucial to the effective delivery of emergency duties in the City of Orange, as it includes developing vehicle specifications for future fire engines and other apparatus, ensuring quality during fabrication, and monitoring acceptance testing upon delivery to the City. The responsibility does not end there, as Chief Stefano coordinates ongoing fleet maintenance through the city garage.
Specifically, Chief Stefano has directed the development, purchase, and on-site customization of five new fire engines, three new ambulances and several staff and command units. In all, Chief Stefano has placed nearly five million dollars worth of highly specialized equipment into service to protect the residents, businesses, and visitors in the City of Orange.
In his positions as captain and battalion chief, Chief Stefano distinguished himself by his role as the fire department’s grant officer. He has researched, written, and submitted several federal grant proposals, resulting in grant offers of nearly four million dollars for Orange City Fire Department. As a direct result of Chief Stefano’s hard work, the City of Orange has emergency equipment that it would otherwise be unable to afford. Chief Stefano has had a direct hand in making the City of Orange a safer place.
Chief Stefano has served in command capacities for several major emergencies, including fires in Northern California, the City of Los Angeles, and the Freeway Fire in Yorba Linda/Anaheim.