Chief and Staff Biographies
Tony Bowden, Fire Chief
Chief Bowden began his firefighting career with the Los Altos Fire Department in 1996, and joined the County Fire organization later the same year when the City of Los Altos and Town of Los Altos Hills contracted with County Fire for service. As Fire Chief, he is the Santa Clara County Fire Marshal and serves as the CAL OES Operational Area Fire and Rescue Coordinator, responsible for all fire mutual aid in Santa Clara County. Chief Bowden’s past assignments have included: Firefighter/Engineer, Paramedic, Fire Captain, Safety Officer, Communication Officer, Training Captain, Battalion Chief, Deputy Chief and Assistant Chief. Chief Bowden holds a bachelor’s degree in Fire Administration, and he is a state certified Fire Officer, Chief Officer, and Fire Instructor.
Brian Glass, Assistant Chief
Prior to joining Santa Clara County Fire Department in 2002, Chief Glass served the early part of his career with a variety of other agencies beginning in 1995; including CAL FIRE, Pacific Grove Fire Department, and Salinas Fire Department. As Assistant Fire Chief he is responsible for managing the Fire Prevention, Operations, Planning, Support Services, and Training Divisions. Chief Glass’ past assignments have included: Firefighter/Engineer-Paramedic, Fire Captain, EMS Coordinator, Battalion Chief, and Deputy Chief of Operations. He has also served on State and Federal Type 1 Incident Management Teams, traveling throughout California to manage large wildland fires. Chief Glass earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree both from California State University at Long Beach, and he is a state certified Fire Instructor, Fire Officer and Chief Officer.
Suwanna Kerdkaew, Deputy Chief of Administration
Deputy Chief Kerdkaew has proudly served Santa Clara County Fire Department since 2002. Her current responsibilities include managing the Department’s strategic planning process and ongoing accreditation with the Center for Public Safety Excellence. Chief Kerdkaew's past assignments for County Fire have included: Firefighter/Engineer-Paramedic, Fire Captain, EMS Coordinator, Staff Battalion Chief in Operations, Battalion Chief in Operations, and Deputy Director of Santa Clara County Communications. Chief Kerdkaew earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from San Francisco State University and she also possesses a diverse business management background. Deputy Chief Kerdkaew is a state certified Fire Officer and Chief Officer.
Mark Shumate, Deputy Chief of Training
Prior to beginning his fire service career with Santa Clara County Fire in 2003, Chief Shumate served the County as a Paramedic and Paramedic Supervisor. As the Deputy Chief responsible for the Training Division, his responsibilities include serving as the Department's Health & Safety Officer; managing the Department’s Recruit Academy; and personnel participation in the California Incident Command Certification System. Chief Shumate’s past assignments have included: Firefighter / Engineer-Paramedic, Fire Captain, Staff Battalion Chief in Training, Recruit Academy Coordinator, Battalion Chief and Deputy Chief of Operations. He also served as the Active Shooter Program Manager, participated in wildland strike teams in multiple states, and is a proud member of the Honor Guard. Chief Shumate holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Fire Administration and is a state certified Training Officer.
Hector Estrada, Deputy Chief of Fire Prevention
Chief Estrada began his career in the fire service in 1997 with the San Jose Fire Department, rising through the ranks from Firefighter to Deputy Chief. As the Deputy Chief of Fire Prevention, he manages all aspects of the Department’s prevention program which includes community risk reduction and education, enforcement of the fire code, fire investigation, hazardous materials inspections, and the plan review / fire protection engineering functions. Chief Estrada’s past accomplishments include development of technology-based solutions for the fire service, including deployment of mobile technology to the field and implementation of a records management system. Chief Estrada’s early professional life was in the private sector and as a business owner.
Jason Falarski, Deputy Chief of Operations
Chief Falarski is a lifetime resident of Los Gatos who became a volunteer firefighter at the age of 18. After officially beginning his fire service career in 1991 with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, he joined County Fire in 1994. As the Deputy Chief of Operations, his duties include oversight of all emergency response activities. Since 1994, Chief Falarski has served as a Firefighter/Engineer, Paramedic, Fire Captain, and Battalion Chief and was an original member of the department’s Special Operations Taskforce. Having been actively involved in Santa Clara County Fire’s Wildland Program, Chief Falarski has been deployed to some of the largest wildland fires in the State of California.
Dana Reed, Director of Emergency Management
Mr. Reed is a 29-year fire service veteran, having served with the City of San José as a Deputy Fire Chief in charge of Operations, EMS and Training. He joined the County Fire organization in 2013. As Director of Emergency Management he is responsible for the Santa Clara County Office of Emergency Services (OES), the Santa Clara County Emergency Operations Center (EOC), the Santa Clara County Fire Department Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and is a member to the Bay Area Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) Approval Authority. He is a Certified Chief Officer, California Emergency Management Specialist and holds an Associates degree in Fire Science as well as a Bachelors degree in Occupational Studies.
Doug Baker, Director of Personnel Services
Mr. Baker has served as the Department's Director of Personnel Services since 2016. Prior to joining the Department, Mr. Baker worked in various positions in the City of Sunnyvale's Human Resources Department and the City of San Jose's City Manager's Office of Employee Relations. Mr. Baker holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Management with an emphasis in Human Resources. As Director of Personnel Services, Mr. Baker directs the Department's recruitment and selection program and oversees employee relations and labor relations. Mr. Baker also serves as a principal department representative in labor negotiations.
Heather Tannehill-Plamondon, Director of County Communications
Heather Tannehill-Plamondon joined the County Fire organization in 2018 as the Director of County Communications. She brings over 25 years in the field of public safety dispatching and emergency services to her position, including serving as the most recent Executive Director of the Silicon Valley Regional Interoperability Authority (SVRIA). As Director of County Communications, Ms. Tannehill-Plamondon is responsible for management of the 911, communications center serving nearly all county agencies as well as dispatching emergency responders and mutual aid resources throughout Santa Clara County. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Administration of Justice from San Jose State University.
Veronica Niebla, Director of Business Services
Veronica Niebla joined County Fire in 2019 with close to 20-years of financial management experience in both the private and public sector. Prior to her role as Director of Business Services, Ms. Niebla served as a Controller-Treasurer Division Manager with the County of Santa Clara and Principal Accountant for the City of San Jose. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration – Accountancy Option from Fresno State University. As the Director of Business Services, Ms. Niebla is responsible for managing all fiscal functions for the District and oversees Information Technology, and Risk Management.
David Snow, Director of Support Services
David Snow joined the County Fire organization in 2019 with more than 27 years of public and private sector fleet management experience and 15 years of public facility management. Prior to his role with County Fire, Mr. Snow served as the Deputy Director of Facilities and Fleet for the County of Santa Clara, where he managed maintenance of more than 5 million square feet of building space and a fleet of 1,800 vehicles. He holds a Masters degree in Public Administration. As Support Services Manager, Mr. Snow is responsible for the full-service apparatus and vehicle maintenance shop, Central Warehouse fulfilling the Department’s logistics needs and maintenance of Department facilities, including 15 Fire stations and the McCormack Training Center.