Andy Ortga

Retired Assistant Chief from the Ventura County Fire Department

Andy served for 37 years with the Ventura County Fire Department. He grew up a son to a Ventura County firefighter, followed his fathers vocational footsteps and worked up through the ranks. Andy retired from the Department as the Assistant Fire Chief of Emergency Services in February of 2017. December 5 of 2017, Andy and his wife lost their home during the Thomas Fire. While the loss was devastating and heartbreaking, they started the long road of recovery and rebuilding. For the next several years they focused on getting back home.

Andy joined the Fire Safe Council in 2021, and he continues his career as a consultant and trainer instructing incident command and management courses. Andy joined the Fire Safe Council because of his commitment to the mission of the Fire Safe Council.  He has experienced the effects and impact of wildfires, both as a professional firefighter and a victim of fire loss. Andy sees that protection from wildfires must include combined awareness and efforts of homeowners, neighbors, communities and the fire service. The Fire Safe Council is committed to work that is necessary and important. He believes in the goal to bringing partners together for the safety and greater good of our communities.

“As a retired Assistant Fire Chief with the Ventura County Fire Department, I am proud and humbled to be part of an organization that is growing and has worked so hard to address the very real threat that wildfires present to our communities. As I look ahead to the future, I’m excited to be a part of the mission of the VRFSC. Additionally, I’m encouraged as we move forward and expand fire safety training, awareness and services; as we provide our local communities in areas of fire prevention, property preparedness, fire safety education and support to partner agencies.”

“We may not stop the large fires from coming, but we certainly can do a better job of preparing our people to be safe and protect their homes before the smoke is in the air” -Andy Ortega