President Tim Edwards
Tim started his fire service career as a paid/call firefighter in San Bernardino in 1992. He was then hired as a Firefighter I in the Tulare Unit in 1994. In 1996, he was hired in the San Bernardino Unit as a Firefighter I. In 1999, Tim was promoted to a Firefighter II in the Riverside Unit. Over the next few years, he worked at multiple stations within the Unit.
Tim became the CAL FIRE Local 2881 State Rank and File Director in 2013. He would spend the next six years in this position, supporting our members and fighting for their wages, benefits, and working conditions. In 2019, he was elected President of Local 2881, a position he is proud to hold today.
General Vice President Pete Muñoa
Pete started his career with CAL FIRE in the San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit in 1989 as a Firefighter I at the Belmont Station. In August 1991, he was offered an LT FAE position in the Sonoma Unit for a brief assignment. In 1992, he took an LT FAE position in the Lake-Napa Unit where he stayed for 15 years serving in the permanent positions of Firefighter II, Fire Apparatus Engineer, and Fire Captain working primarily in Schedule A programs. In 2007, Pete promoted to Battalion Chief back to where his career began to the San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit as the San Mateo County Fire Marshal staying for two years before transferring back to his county of residence in Napa in 2009. Pete continued his duties as Battalion Chief serving as the Napa County Fire Marshal for the next six years. In 2015, he promoted again to the position of Deputy Chief assigned to the Office of the State Fire Marshal in Sacramento where he built and managed the Land Use Planning Program until his retirement in December of 2019.
Pete proudly served 31 years in the fire service and has been a union member from the start. He became active in Local 2881 in 1997 when he joined the Serious Accident Investigation Team, today known as a SART. He participated in major investigations such as the Bus Incident in Mendocino in 2001 where CDF Airtankers 87 and 92 collided over Hopland in Mendocino County killing both pilots and the Esperanza Fire in October 2006, where five USFS firefighters were killed in a burnover in Riverside County. In 2009, Pete became a rank and file representative in Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit and in 2013, was elected as the Chapter Director. In 2017, Pete was elected as the District IX Vice President and in 2019 was voted into the position he proudly holds now of General Vice President. Pete continues to be a vocal advocate for better wages, benefits, and working conditions for our union membership.
State Finance Director Paul Van Gerwen
Paul started his career with CAL FIRE in the Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit in 1984 and remained there until 1988. He then took an Engineer position in the Fresno-Kings Unit and after one year, he went back to MMU. Over the next two decades, Paul would hold positions in the San Benito-Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Clara, San Mateo-Santa Cruz, and Napa Units. In 2011, he went back to the San Luis Obispo Unit and stayed there until he retired.
Paul served as a Firefighter, Fire Apparatus Engineer, Fire Captain (16 years), Battalion Chief, and Assistant Chief. He worked in Schedule A and B, Fire Camps, Training bureau, Law Enforcement Bureau, Public Information and Public relations for the nine counties surrounding the Bay Area, and Assistant Chief of Ventura Camp administrating the two contract counties of Santa Barbara and Ventura. Paul was qualified in all operational ICS positions up to Incident Commander and served on Incident Command Team 7. When he first started his career, CAL FIRE would have one 9,000-acre fire in a year, and it was a big deal. When he retired, CAL FIRE had five 45,000-acre fires burning at the same time. This year there were multiple fires burning over 100,000 acres. Paul is confident that we are experiencing a climate impact to which we have not seen the worst yet.
Paul served 36 years in the fire service and has served as the State Finance Director of Local 2881 for the past eight years. Utilizing his business management skills, he has successfully grown Local 2881’s wealth into a financial security with a proven business plan in creating structured saving and investment planning. Paul feels Local 2881 is on the path to becoming financially self-sufficient with time and achieving a priority towards strategic growth to prepare our union for the future challenges ahead. Paul is looking forward to serving the members for two more years. Standing Strong and United!
State Rank & File Director Peter Boctor
I grew up in Riverside, CA, and I am the oldest of three boys. During my sophomore year in High School, I joined the City of Riverside’s Fire Explorer Program, and I knew that was my calling. I attended college during my senior year of High School and continued my career path by becoming a Volunteer Firefighter for Riverside County and becoming a Reserve Firefighter for Los Alamitos FD. In 1996, I was hired as a Firefighter I with CDF, now CAL FIRE San Diego Unit. In 2002, I became a Firefighter II in the Riverside Unit, where I have continued to work through the ranks of Fire Apparatus Engineer and currently hold the rank of Fire Captain.
In 2013, as a FFII, I was charged with AWOL and was wrongfully terminated by the Department. While going through the disciplinary process of the Department, I learned first-hand how the process works. I gained valuable knowledge and experience while seeing every level of the disciplinary process and how it functions. When I was reinstated back to my position after being off work for several months, the experience fueled a passion for getting involved with our Union.
I knew I wasn’t the only one who had been wrongly terminated. Because of the representation and support I received from the Union, I wanted to get involved, and I have been committed to working just as hard to make a difference for someone else.
My family is the foundation of all that is great in my life. I am blessed to have their full support in my new role. I am thankful to them and look forward to doing the best I can for my CAL FIRE brothers and sisters.
State Supervisor Director Joe Ten Eyck
Joe has been married for 33 years to his wife Veronica, who teaches 1st Grade at Ready Springs School in Penn Valley, where they both attended during their childhood. They have three adult children. Joanna is finishing her bachelor's in nursing; Joseph was recently discharged as a Sergeant in the US Marine Corps and is working as a certified field welder; Joseph and Madeline currently serve in Security Forces in the US Airforce; Madeline is working on her bachelor degree in English.
Joe recently retired with 35 years in CAL FIRE and over 40 in the fire service. He found his calling and fell in love with the fire service young at the age of 14 with Penn Valley Fire District as a Junior Firefighter. He had a break in service, enlisting in the US Marine Corps, and was discharged as a Corporal (his son likes to remind Joe he outranks him!).
Leadership, supervision, and command applied: serving, safeguarding others, a competent response in complex, fluid, and dangerous environments, being an impact player for good in the lives of others, working as a team, being challenged physically and mentally, a lifetime of training and education, is the calling and the best parts of the job. Joe's experience, education, and training enable him to serve our members as a union officer competently, with passion and courage of conviction.
State Retiree Director Brian Burger
I joined CDFEA back in 1973 when union president Hank Weston signed me up. In 1991, I took my first position as chapter treasurer. Two years later, I became chapter director for the Humboldt-Del Norte chapter. In 1995, I took the Deputy Region Director position for Region 1 before we changed Regions to Districts and Directors to Vice Presidents. A few months later, my term ended. I was elevated to the Region Director when our Region Director became the Union Vice President due to a vacancy in the President's position.
From 1992 to 2003, I served on the Joint Union-Labor-Management Health Cost Containment Committee, which was mandated by our MOU. Because of this participation, we obtained several unexpected benefits such as a $10 increase in dental premiums, the ability to participate in the Group Legal Plan, and an arbitration victory in the Rural Subsidy Program, which put money back in some member's pockets.
My CDF career ended on March 1st, 2000, when I suffered a brain tumor while serving on the State Board. Suddenly, I lost my job, 75% of my vision, and driver's license. Since that time, one of the things I discovered I liked most was helping people and why I wanted to do this job. Over the last eight years, I have assisted 50-60 members' spouses/families as a Family Liaison or assisted as part of a team effort in some way. Four of these members now have their names on both the California and Colorado Springs Memorial Walls, and I accompanied the families to both ceremonies. Several spouses still contact me for advice on what to do or help with messages they receive from CalPERS. My wife is behind me 100% and often drives me to meet with spouses. Together we make a good team as she is such an extrovert and diffuses the sad situation at hand.
Years ago, missing what I used to do with CDF, I signed up to work for FEMA. I once worked three months in New York after Super Storm Sandy, lived in Manhattan, rode the subway to Queens, and now know all the locations are when they are mentioned on the TV cop shows. If you want an adventure, try flying to Baton Rouge, where there is no power, no motels or facilities or restaurants open, with rain in the middle of a disaster area, and you are blind.
Since I have held the State Retiree Director position, cases never seem to stop coming in. I have helped a Retired Annuitant obtain back pay from 2020, another get his Industrial Disability Retirement processed, and a third involving a Retired Honor Guard bagpiper, along with several requests for information on Industrial Disability Retirement and death benefits.
One of the things we need to do as members, both retired and active, is explain to our spouses what our benefits are and what we need to attend to at different times in our careers. I hope to communicate this via articles in the Fire Front publications and improve the information on our website.