Published September 14, 2020

I grew up in Redding, attended Alta Mesa and Manzanita elementary schools, Sequoia Middle School, and graduated from Shasta High School. I took the ROP Fire Training class during my senior year and worked for the California Department of Forestry (now known as CAL FIRE) after graduation as a seasonal firefighter. In the offseason, I continued my education at Shasta College. 

While I attended Shasta College, I was able to gain work experience at the campus fire station. A number of us were “sleepers”—we spent a couple of nights a week at the station and responded to calls on the fire engine. Riding tailboard to an emergency on a fire engine at the age of 19 was a great thrill and very exciting. That early program has evolved into one of the great fire academies in the Northstate.  

After receiving my associate degree, I was hired as a full-time firefighter at the El Dorado Hills Fire Department. I eventually returned to Redding and took a job with the Redding Fire Department. I also started taking classes again at Shasta College to prepare for a bachelor’s degree.   

If you are interested in fire or emergency medical services, the Shasta College Fire Academy is a great place to find out if you have what it takes. Academy graduates are excellent candidates that score well on our written and oral examinations, have a positive attitude, are physically fit, and are team players. I think the fire service is one of the worlds greatest jobs; it is rewarding and an honor to serve our community. As first responders, we work and train to protect lives and property and assist the public, often during very stressful situations.

Cullen Kreider
Redding Fire Department Chief 
Shasta College Knight