New fire captain joins Winters Fire Department

Fire captain Cheyne Baumgart (left) and Fire Chief Brad Lopez (right) Courtesy photo.

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Arriving late due to the Burger King fire, Winters Fire Department personnel welcomed a new fire captain to their ranks at the City Council meeting June 4.

Fire Chief Brad Lopez offered words of praise for Cheyne Baumgart, an acting fire chief who was sworn in by city officials at the meeting.

“Today is a very exciting day for us at Winters Fire Department—the swearing in of Cheyne Baumgart,” Lopez said. “From the very start we could see Cheyne had an excellent work ethic and represents himself very professionally. As a firefighter he understood the importance of his position […] and continues to remain prepared at all times.”

Baumgart, who is leaving the Air Force this summer after serving since 2012, has worked as a sergeant and training officer in the armed forces at several bases, including the Travis Air Force Base and in the United Arab Emirates.

He joined the Winters Fire Department as a volunteer in 2015, and worked to develop a driver and operator training program in Winters, training other recruits in handling fire engines and other firefighting equipment.

Baumgart received awards after his deployment in last year’s Camp Fire, the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California state history.

“(A) Fire captain’s position is probably one of the most important positions in a fire department. As a frontline supervisor, they set the tone in the firehouse, and they’re influential in developing the culture within the department,” Lopez said.

The Winters Fire Department has four fire captains.

Baumgart, who was supported by his wife, five generations of family, and several WFD coworkers, thanked his mentors and family members after Lopez’s introduction.

“I just want to thank everybody for giving me the opportunity to be here. The support of my wife and our family is really what made this happen, so thank you to that,” Baumgart said.

After the swearing in Mayor Bill Biasi said, “We look forward to your service to our community and we also thank you for your service to our country.”


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