Chief Ernst is a 26 year veteran of the fire service
with well-rounded and results-driven experience, he began his career in Modesto
as a firefighter in 1997. Chief Ernst has successfully held every rank in
the fire department which includes extensive experience in training and
emergency operations. He was the department training officer as a
Battalion Chief, a shift Battalion Chief, the Support Division Chief and the
Operations Division Chief.
Chief Ernst is a certified and qualified strike team leader and has led numerous deployments to large wildfires throughout the state. In addition to the strike team leader, he is certified and qualified as a Type 3 Incident Commander. During the floods of 2017, Chief Ernst was the Incident Commander of the management team put in place to safely lead and manage the event for the City of Modesto, City of Ceres, and population served by the Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District. His education background includes an Associates of Arts degree in Fire Science from American River College and numerous fire service certifications and qualifications. Chief Ernst is a state certified instructor for the state Fire Marshal’s Office and teaches command and control throughout the state and has a proven track record as a strong and passionate leader in the California Fire Service. Chief Ernst currently is the 2nd Vice President for California Fire Chiefs Training Officers Northern Division and has served as an area director for numerous years.
had the opportunity to ‘grow up’ in this fire department, I am truly humbled
and honored to lead the men and women who proudly serve our community,” said
Chief Ernst. “I understand the challenges facing the fire service and our
community and I will work hard to ensure our city and firefighters are well
represented and cared for. The Modesto Fire Department has a rich
history of providing excellent service and I'm excited to lead such a great
A formal swearing-in ceremony will be
conducted at 4 p.m. on September 28, 2017 at Fire Station 1, located at 600 11th Street.