Jim Caldwell has over 25 years of experience in the public safety sector in occupations ranging from professional ski patrol, and ocean lifeguard to firefighter. Jim has worked for the Redondo Beach Fire Department for the last 22 years holding successively higher positions of responsibility. For the last six years, Jim has held the rank of Engineer with responsibility for driving and operating the Department’s Engines and Tillered Aerial Ladder Truck. Throughout his career, he has shown a dedication not only to public safety but also community service.
After graduating from high school, Jim attended California Polytechnic at San Luis Obispo for two years, studying Ornamental Horticulture. During this period his avid interest in the outdoors, and skiing in particular, led to a position with the Volunteer National Ski Patrol at China Peak Ski area. As a requirement to this position he passed the Emergency Medical Technician and the Wilderness Emergency Medicine courses. The following year his skiing skills had reached such a level of proficiency that Jim tested for and was invited to join the highly recognized Mammoth Mountain Ski Patrol.
After two years, Jim returned to college and completed his degree in Exercise Science at San Diego State University. While attending school he successfully competed for a San Diego City Lifeguard position. Subsequently, Jim returned to Los Angeles to start his career in fire safety. He spent two years with the Manhattan Beach Fire Department as a paid call firefighter and worked in the Fire Prevention Bureau. Upon gaining the necessary skills and testing proficiency, he successfully competed for a position with the Redondo Beach Fire Department.
Within a few years of his arrival to the Department, Jim requested and was granted the opportunity to develop the Physical Fitness Program. He defined four major objectives for the Program: first, to improve the overall physical fitness for all members in the Department; second, to reduce on-duty injuries; third, to reduce overall sick leave as result of better health; and, fourth, to design a program that would meet the Department members’ acceptance on a long-term basis. The Program has not only met these objectives but also has continued since its adoption.
Another of Jim’s accomplishments was development of the Standard Operating Procedures for Aerial Ladder Rescue Technique manual and training program. In doing so, he established a single Departmental protocol for safe and effective aerial ladder rescue operations. In addition, he volunteered to be one of the Department’s few DMV Class B License Instructors.
Jim’s career at Redondo has gained him the recognition for a number of commendations. As one example, the City recognized he and his engine company for exemplary actions on behalf of the Department and the community for responding to well over one hundred emergencies in a matter of eight hours. Another contribution Jim received recognition for was the Safer City Program. The City identified graffiti as a major source for gang promotion activities. After adopting the Safer City Program, one of the major tasks the City assigned to the program was for graffiti removal. With well over twenty members involved in the committee, Jim received recognition for single-handedly identifying over 65% of the graffiti removed throughout the City. The graffiti removal was considered to be an important factor in the City’s success of curtailing gang activities.
Jim has been a frequent spokesman for the Speakers Bureau at events ranging from educational career days to the major homeowners’ associations in the City. He has received Firefighter I, II and III accreditation and served as an Association Board Member for two years. He has volunteered to work in numerous community events such as public relations for the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation and appeared in the Foundation’s Firefighter Calendar. He also contributed work toward the Super Bowl 10K Run, Village Runner 10K, Community Relief Fund Christmas Food Giveaway, American Cancer Society’s “Walk for the Cure” Cancer Walk, and Course Setter/Climbing Team Coach for Beach City Rocks Climbing Gym. He has also been a significant sponsor for the Bark Paddleboard Team for Underprivileged Children.
In addition, Jim has the following certifications and coursework: SCBA Technician, Workplace Harassment, Hazard Material First Responder Operations, Emergency Response to Terrorism, Confined Space Awareness, Operations Terrorism Consequence Management Training, Field Basic Orientation, and Introduction to Wild Land Fire Behavior.