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Chief Jim Topoleski to Lead Wildland/Aviation Programs

By Tracey Martinez
01/04/2022 at 02:27 PM

San Bernardino County Fire Chief Dan Munsey is pleased to announce the hiring of Jim Topoleski as Division Chief; overseeing the Wildland/Aviation programs. Chief Topoleski comes to the County after spending 35-years with the Redlands Fire Department and prior service with CAL FIRE. Chief Topoleski has held every position from firefighter/paramedic to fire chief while at Redlands. During his tenure, he has served on numerous EMS and training committees throughout the County.

Chief Topoleski has spent the last 22-years serving on both Federal and State Type I and Type II Incident Management Teams where he has served in the capacity of an Operations Section Chief, Operations Branch Director, Division Supervisor, and Safety Officer. During this time, he responded to numerous fires and complex incidents across the United States, with the most recent incidents including the Mendocino Complex, Caldor, Dixie and Thomas Fires.

“We couldn’t be prouder to welcome Chief Topoleski to the County Fire family,” said Fire Chief Dan Munsey. “Jim’s extensive experience in wildland and aviation firefighting provides a tremendous asset that will help us continue to protect the residents of San Bernardino County and their property. As the threat and intensity of wildland fires continue to grow by the year, San Bernardino County Fire is well positioned to mitigate and contain these continual threats to our great county.”

“It has been a great honor to serve the people of Redlands over my career,” said San Bernardino County Fire Division Chief Jim Topoleski. “Redlands Fire is a fantastic organization. I look forward to using the knowledge and experience I have acquired in my career in Redlands to serve the residents of San Bernardino County.”

Throughout his career, Chief Topoleski has continuously sought higher education and training. He holds an associate’s degree in General Studies and a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Columbia Southern University.

Chief Topoleski will succeed Division Chief Shane Glaze in leading the Wildland/Aviation program. Chief Glaze is retiring with over 23-years of service to the residents of San Bernardino County. Shane has been instrumental in advancing County Fire’s dozer and handcrew programs. County Fire thanks Chief Glaze for his tireless efforts to protect San Bernardino County. 

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