Ken Kehmna

Ken Kehmna / Business Unit Leader 
Administrative Services


Summary of Qualifications

Chief Kehmna is a highly respected fire service leader with more than 35 years of service and over 15 years at the executive management level. Prior to being appointed Fire Chief, he served as Deputy Chief, Battalion Chief, Fire Captain, and in other positions that were key to his development and a chief officer. Chief Kehmna’s broad range of experience, commitment to his organization, and dedication to the mission earned him the respect of his peers and the communities he served.

As Fire Chief, he successfully led his organization through the accreditation process with the Commission on Fire Accreditation International. In keeping with his vision for the organization, he oversaw the development and adoption of a new strategic plan, standards of cover and business plan which laid the foundation for greater regionalization and diversification of the district’s highly effective service delivery model. Leveraging key partnerships and the well-earned trust of the County’s administration and elected leadership, Chief Kehmna assumed responsibility for the County’s Office of Emergency Management in 2014. Using his experience with building and leading high functioning teams, Chief Kehmna reorganized the office and assembling a cadre of highly respected experts in emergency management. Building on this success, the chief was then asked to assume responsibility for the County’s 911 Communications Center. Chief Kehmna laid out a plan to restructure and restaff the center with a new leadership team. Chief Kehmna’s plan successfully installed the highly effective leadership that was necessary, while also providing an essential opportunity for growth and professional development for the center’s current director, and the district’s current Fire Chief.

Chief Kehmna also served as Vice Chair of Firefighting Resources of California Organized for Potential Emergencies (FIRESCOPE), which serves as an advisory board to Cal OES on cooperative fire protection agreements, regional fire/rescue policy issues and to advise the Director of Cal OES on matters of statewide importance. Chief Kehmna’s work with FIRESCOPE continues to influence fire service delivery at the local, state and national level.

Chief Kehmna’s formal education combined with his real-world experience have been instrumental in developing his vast knowledge of organizational management, state and local politics, human resource management, fire district law, public procurement, contracts administration, labor contract negotiations, organizational development, and many other areas. Chief Kehmna continues to share his knowledge and experience through his active participation with the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the Western Fire Chiefs Association and the National Wildfire Coordinating Group.

Educational Background

  • Master of Science – Executive Fire Service Leadership – Grand Canyon University
  • Bachelor of Arts – Management – St. Mary’s College

Professional Experience

  • Fire Chief, Redmond Fire & Rescue
  • Fire Chief, Santa Clara County Fire Department
  • Deputy Chief, Santa Clara County Fire Department

Relevant Experience

  • Vice Chair – FIRESCOPE Board of Directors
  • Vice Chair – NWCG NIMS Integration Committee
  • Approval Authority Member – Bay Area Urban Area Security Initiative
  • Member – IAFC Emergency Management Committee
  • Member – Western Fire Chiefs Association, Wildfire Policy Committee
  • Member – Oregon Fire Chiefs Association, Wildfire Policy Committee