Chief Matt Gil is getting set to retire after 35 years on the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
Here in Santa Clarita, we look upon our emergency leaders with a great deal of respect, and in turn demand a high level of service. That may be why our streets are safer than most others, and our fires are knocked down quicker.
Matt Gil has held the position of Assistant Fire Chief for four years in our town, which, to us, is effectively our top fire post. Of course, he has served the city in one capacity or another for much longer than that, and now the City is preparing to say goodbye to Gill as he approaches his retirement, set for December.
Before becoming our fire chief, Gil spent six years off of the I-5 at Henry Mayo Dr. as Captain of the Fire Department’s local HAZMAT team, which deals with hazardous chemicals and substances.
And throughout 35 years as a firefighter, Gil has responded to such local disasters as the 1994 Northridge earthquake, and October’s wildfires. He was even serving as the fire prevention captain during the early 90’s and oversaw the building of the first portion of the Valencia Town Center.
So what made him so successful? Well, in his words; teamwork.
“The firefighters here in the Santa Clarita Valley are awesome,” Gil told KHTS. “All my successes I attribute to that team. They provided me with the opportunities to be successful, and in turn, they’re successful…they’re just awesome.”
As if 3 ½ decades weren’t enough, Gil says he has no plans to kick up his feet after retirement.
“I’m going to continue to train for the State of California’s Fire Marshal’s Office, HAZMAT, incident command, earthquake preparedness and those types of instructional activities,” he said.
Gil was honored Tuesday night by the Santa Clarita City Council, where he thanked his family, God and the City for their support.
KHTS wishes Chief Gil the best in his retirement and thanks him for his many years of service to Santa Clarita.