Pacific Grove was founded in 1875 as a Methodist Church summer retreat. It was incorporated as a City on July 16, 1889. The Volunteer Fire Department originated in 1885 just prior to the City's incorporation.
In December 2008, the Pacific Grove Fire Department merged into the Monterey City Fire Department, creating a 67-person, 4-station department with enhanced operational capability and depth of resources to better provide a broad spectrum of services to both communities at a lower overall cost than maintaining two separate departments. Pacific Grove's Station #4 protects a geographical area of 2.5 square miles with a full-time population of 15,500 residents. Station #4 responds to an average of 1450 calls a year.
In 2013 a new Fire Chief joined the Department. Chief Gaudenz Panholzer leads a fire department that serves the cities of Monterey, Pacific Grove, Carmel-by-the-Sea, and Sand City, as well as the Presidio of Monterey, Naval Postgraduate School and La Mesa Village. The department operates five fire stations and employs 77 people.
Panholzer lives in Carmel and has strong ties to the local community. His career in the fire service began at the Carmel Highlands Fire District in 1977. In addition to his strong field experience, Chief Panholzer has a background in fire training at Monterey Peninsula College, Hartnell College, Cabrillo College and the South Bay Regional Public Safety Training Consortium. He also has served as Director of the Monterey County Regional Fire District since 2008.
“It is an honor to serve in the communities I call home, with the highly skilled men and women of the Monterey Fire Department,” said Panholzer. Gaudenz Panholzer has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from UC Berkeley, an associates’ degree in Fire Science from MPC and has completed coursework for a master’s degree in Public Administration at San Jose State.
More information on fire safety and other fire and emergency services can be found on the Monterey Fire Departmant's web pages or by calling (831) 646-3900.