This week our speaker was Redondo Beach Fire Chief Robert Metzger.  As part of his role, Metzger also serves as the city's harbormaster, overseeing King Harbor. He has professional experience in fire administration, water rescue, paramedic programs and heavy rescue, according to the city.
Prior to his current job in Redondo Beach, Metzger served as the fire chief in Golden Gate, Fla. for five years. He previously was a deputy fire chief in Toledo, Ohio. He received his bachelor of science degree in fire safety and engineering from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in public administration from Florida Gulf Coast University, according to the news release. He is a graduate of the executive fire officer program at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Md.
He spoke about issues facing the Redondo Beach Fire Department and how the  local department is working with Los Angeles County fire officials. He gave a detailed background of the negotiations between the Redondo Beach City Council and county fire officials. He said that despite the current Covid-19  pandemic, the department has developed protocols permitting firemen to continue providing service to area residents.
"Firemen in our department are required to wear masks at all times they are in the firehouse," he said. "Even I have to wear a mask on premises"
During a Q&A period he was asked what effect the concept of defunding police was having in Redondo Beach.  "Surprisingly, it has little traction," he said. When asked about the wildfire season, he said, "We are part of a state compact that requires us to cooperate with other departments. Our people have been as far as the Oregon border and down to San Diego. It is a very effective system."