SACRAMENTO - If a state building has been rocked by a major earthquake, chances are California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) Member and Site Representative Chris Fowler will be one of the California deputy state fire marshals to respond to inspect its stability and usability - and, it is likely her inspection would not stop there. When a 6.0 earthquake rocked Napa in August 2014, Fowler was part of a state emergency response operation in which her expertise was relied upon as she and her colleagues inspected state buildings, as well as hundreds of area businesses to assist local government.
Life safety is Fowler's passion, as was evident when, despite 20,000 people present to watch a July 4, 2015 fireworks presentation in Sacramento, Fowler made the decision to bring the show to a halt when a mortar launched failed; coming into contact with other racks of mortars and fireworks, and igniting a small grass fire.
"Talk about pressure," said CSLEA President Alan Barcelona. "Chris is a true public safety professional and safety always comes first. Can you imagine having to pull the plug on an event in which 20,000 exuberant spectators are present and are counting on for a spectacular conclusion to their holiday? There's no doubt, Chris had life safety in her mind and in her heart when she determined the show couldn't go on."
Upon meeting Fowler, it does not take but a moment to recognize the passion she has for life safety. Fowler has been a deputy state fire marshal for five years. She was promoted to DSFM III, Specialist in April of 2014. Her experience in public safety includes 14 years as a firefighter and paramedic in Nevada and Placer Counties. She also worked for two years for Sacramento Regional Fire Emergency Communications Center. She currently instructs CPR and PALS, refreshing the skills of colleagues and healthcare professionals.
"I truly love being a paramedic, yet that is not part of my current service with Cal Fire," said Fowler. "My path has become broader with the overall life safety of those who visit, live and reside within our state facilities at the forefront of my service, everyday."
All that, and Fowler still continues to do more to serve. She is currently a Fire Marshal and Emergency Services Association (FMESA) vice president and a FMESA-CSLEA site representative.
“Site representatives are an important and vital part of CSLEA," said Fowler. "We work hard to protect the rights of our fellow employees under the MOU and labor law. I am working closely with management to improve the working conditions of my coworkers and resolve differences at the lowest possible level. The role of a site representative is challenging yet it can provide so much satisfaction."
"Our site reps volunteer to take on this very important role," said Barcelona. "I thank Chris for the time and effort she puts into her site representative duties as well as her FMESA commitments. She has the passion and energy that many of us admire."