SANTA MONICA—The city of Santa Monica announced on Thursday, January 6 that Eric Binder, who has been with the Santa Monica Fire Department since 2000 is retiring. Binder came to the city after holding positions with UCLA and the city of Long Beach. He was chosen as the Senior Fire Inspector overseeing Hazardous Material Inspections.

In 2009, he was promoted to Assistant Fire Marshal-Hazardous Materials overseeing the Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA) that combined various hazardous materials and regulatory programs into one agency for Santa Monica. The purpose of the CUPA program is to ensure businesses with hazardous materials are properly managed and accurately reported. Santa Monica received exemplary state evaluations under his watch. In 2014, Eric was awarded “Outstanding Individual at the Certified Unified Program Agency” annual conference recognizing his commitment to the CUPA program and that his reputation went beyond city limits.

In addition to the responsibilities as Assistant Fire Marshal, he conducted highly technical and complex fire inspections, large scale plan review, and fire investigations.

He was promoted to Fire Marshal in 2014, where he assumed management of the Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Division, Fire Investigations, Public Education, and continued to oversee the CUPA program. His responsibilities included review of major projects and developments for the city.

Interim Fire Chief Knabe remarked, “There is not a Department or Division in the City that Eric has not helped and shared his expertise. Although Eric has officially left the building, his legacy will live on. We thank him for his service to the entire Fire Department and the City for all the years of dedication and commitment, always putting the safety of our people and community first. Eric’s impact over these 21 years has forever changed our Fire Department for the better.”

The SMFD selected Assistant Fire Marshal, Joe Cavin as Fire Marshal to replace Binder. Fire Marshal Cavin has been with the department for 12 years. He started as a firefighter and worked his way up to the Prevention Division as a Senior Fire Inspector before being promoted to Assistant Fire Marshal. Joe has held the position of Fire Investigator, responsible for High Rise inspections, New Construction Inspections, and Plan Review. In his past roles he has also supervised Fire Code Enforcement Officers and Fire Inspectors.