Southern Marin Fire District Launches Diversity Initiatives

At their meeting on March 24, 2021, the Southern Marin Fire District (SMFD) Board of Directors received an update on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) activities and adopted three strategic initiatives with the goal of creating a more diverse, equitable and inclusive agency and culture. 

Two of the initiatives are related to recruitment and career development, and include partnering with the California Firefighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee (Cal-JAC) Diversity Recruitment team to implement measures that will increase the number of women and people of color who apply to the fire service for employment. The second initiative will include a partnership with the Fredrick Leon Marcus Youth Academy (FLMYA) in Marin City to provide education and build relationships focused on civic engagement.  

In the third initiative, SMFD plans to develop a comprehensive DEI plan, modeled on the best practices of the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE). The District recently submitted an application to become a GARE member agency, and in upcoming weeks, Fire Chief Chris Tubbs will create an internal work team to develop a draft plan for the SMFD Board to review and approve.

“We are challenged, like other California Fire Departments, with the issue of recruitment of women and minorities,” Chief Tubbs said. “We embrace the need for comprehensive action that results in ensuring that our agency is one in which diversity, equity and inclusion are core values modeled through our behaviors and actions.”

“We, as a local government agency, are uniquely positioned to facilitate needed change,” he said. 

Fire staff will continue to provide updates to the community on progress on these initiatives. The SMFD Board meets monthly and more information about their meetings may be found here.


About California Firefighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee (Cal-JAC) 

Cal-JAC is a joint labor-management partnership between California Professional Firefighters and the California State Fire Marshal and is the established leader in recruitment, outreach and standardized training for firefighters in California. Cal-JAC has worked to develop a workforce that is not only equipped to face the ever-evolving demands of the profession, but also one that reflects the diversity seen across the state. Learn more.

About the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE)

GARE is a national network of government working to achieve racial equity and advance opportunities for all. GARE is a national community of government employees implementing policy change at multiple levels and across several sectors to drive larger systemic change. Learn more. 

About the City of Mill Valley/Southern Marin Fire District Shared Services Agreement

The City of Mill Valley and SMFD are currently in a shared services agreement for fire services for the City of Mill Valley, and for the Southern Marin communities of Tamalpais Valley, Almonte, Homestead Valley, Alto, Strawberry, approximately 1/4 of the town of Tiburon, the City of Sausalito, Fort Baker and the Marin Headlands. This service agreement allows the City and SMFD to provide fire services and collaborate on important initiatives.

Additional Resources

SMFD Staff Report - Update on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Activity, March 24, 2021

PowerPoint Presentations, March 24, 2021: 

Sign up for Southern Marin Fire eNewsletter

City of Mill Valley DEI Webpage