MALIBU—Media Information Officer Matt Myerhoff indicated in a press release to Canyon News that the city expanded its Public Safety Team with the appointment of Gabriel Etcheverry as the newest Fire Safety Liaison. Etcheverry is a former Fire Captain and brings decades of firefighting experience to the region. He will work with the City’s Public Safety Team towards the City’s goal of community-wide wildfire preparedness.
“Malibu’s number one public safety threat is wildfire, and the City is committed to being prepared and helping the community be prepared so that we can protect lives and homes, and be more resilient for when the next wildfire strikes,” said Mayor Paul Grisanti. “I welcome Gabriel and encourage every homeowner in Malibu to contact our Fire Safety Liaisons to schedule a home hardening assessment. With every home that is better fortified against wildfires, with proper brush clearance and defensible space, our entire community is safer.”
Etcheverry joins Fire Safety Liaison Chris Brossard, a former firefighter who was hired in 2021. Both will manage Malibu’s wildfire preparedness and protection programs, including home wildfire hardening inspections, and advise community members, businesses, homeowner associations and other community-based organizations on fire preparedness. As part of this effort, they work to secure federal, state and local grants to fund programs to enhance Malibu’s wildfire preparedness and response capabilities.
“I have dedicated my life to protecting people and communities from the threat of fires in Southern California, and I am proud to join Malibu, where there could not be a more important mission,” Etcheverry said. “I look forward to meeting with Malibu’s homeowners, businesses, schools and community groups, and doing all that I can to help them in their fire preparedness efforts.”
The Fire Safety Liaisons’ other critical function is to stay in constant communication with the LA County Fire Department including monitoring fire and law enforcement radio communications and reports, responding to fire and emergency incidents in the area to coordinate with emergency responders and provide on-scene updates to the City Manager, Public Safety Manager and Malibu City Council. They will also providing updates on Malibu fire conditions.
The Fire Safety Liaison position was created in 2019, as Malibu’s wildfire preparedness after the 2018 Woolsey Fire destroyed nearly 500 homes in the city and burned 100,000 acres. More than 250 free home hardening assessments were conducted for Malibu homeowners since the Woolsey Fire.
Etcheverry has lived in Southern California his entire life. He served for 34 years as a full-time professional firefighter. He served with the LA County Fire Department for 27 years, including 21 years as Captain. He previously served as a firefighter with the La Mesa and Santa Monica Fire Departments.
During his career, he worked in recruit training, urban search and rescue, health hazardous materials, and wildland firefighting training. He retired from the LA County Fire Department in 2014 and worked for the last seven years as a hazardous materials instructor for UCLA.
Gabriel also worked for the Counterterrorism Operations Support (CTOS) Center for Radiological/Nuclear Training under the Department of Homeland Security, instructing responders and military personnel on handling radiological and nuclear incidents such as dirty bombs and nuclear detonations. He has an AA degree in Fire Science. He is available to advise residents, businesses and organizations on fire preparedness and can be reached at 310-456-2489 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. To obtain more details about how to prepare for wildfires at www.MalibuCity.org/FireSafety.