Hans Henneberque started his career as a volunteer firefighter with the City of Pinole and was subsequently hired as a full-time firefighter and promoted up the ranks. After 10 years with the City of Pinole he moved on to the office of the California State Fire Marshal, where he worked for nearly two years as a Deputy State Fire Marshal. In 1991 he was laid off due to state budget cuts and was hired as the Assistant Chief/Fire Marshal for the Russian River Fire District and was soon promoted to Fire Chief. In 1998 he returned to the office of the State Fire Marshal until his retirement from the fire service in 2012.
During his tenure as Fire Chief of the Russian River Fire District, Hans transformed the department through a process of reorganization which included a five-year plan, 90% of which was completed within three years. As Fire Chief, Hans was instrumental in upgrading the department’s aging equipment, established an equipment purchase and replacement program which included the purchase of a new Pierce Type I fire engine and the purchase of two new ambulances, replacement of all safety clothing for paid and volunteer staff, replacement and refurbishment of most small equipment, and the complete replacement of 25 year old breathing apparatus with all-new units. Hans also implemented a new and effective financial accountability system along with updated training programs.
The Russian River Fire District operates a paramedic ambulance service along with its fire protection function. As such, Hans became involved with many of the EMS issues facing the California Fire Service, greatly expanding his ability to maintain effective professional networks and positive relationships among the agencies and individuals involved in handling these issues. Hans was also an integral member of a local group of public officials that formulated and managed a flood and disaster plan for the lower Russian River area which became the model for other agencies.
Upon returning to the State Fire Marshal’s office in 1998, Hans was instrumental in the development of plan review guidelines and became a top hand at plan review and large project construction management for fire code compliance. During this second term as a Deputy State Fire Marshal, he developed many fire and life safety seminars and educational programs for hospitals and large institutional agencies.
Hans has trained and developed many junior peers. He has been on the forefront of fire and life safety education in his local area for many years for both the fire services and private industry. He has facilitated many workshops and seminars promoting fire and life safety issues to local fire departments and large state institutions in Northern California and has developed the training materials for these workshops. He has also facilitated educational seminars for both state and local fire agencies.
Hans has a straightforward, positive, and professional personality and believes in a participatory style of management, including as many team members as is reasonably practical in decision-making processes. He believes in delegating responsibility and decisions-making to the lowest level possible for efficient and effective management.
Hans is also considered a valuable code expert within the fire code community, based on his wide range of experiences in fire operations, management, and fire prevention, and will continue his teaching endeavors along with managing this new and vibrant fire code consulting firm.