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Governor Mourns Fire Chief

Jamestown, CA – Governor Jerry Brown issued a statement on the death of CAL FIRE Battalion Chief Rob Van Wormer of Jamestown.

Governor Brown says, “It is with great sadness that Anne and I learned CAL FIRE Battalion Chief Rob Van Wormer has passed away. We extend our deepest condolences to Rob’s family, friends and everyone at CAL FIRE during this difficult time.”


CAL Fire reports Van Wormer, 47, died Saturday of natural causes. Officials say he was at a Santa Cruz restaurant Saturday night with a co-worker when he lost consciousness. He was later pronounced dead at Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz around 8 p.m.


Van Wormer headed fire prevention efforts for Cal Fire’s Santa Clara unit and had been working on an investigation in Santa Cruz County. CAL Fire says he had specialized law enforcement and aircraft operations training. Van Wormer lived in Jamestown and was a 24-year CAL Fire veteran.


Chief Van Wormer is survived by his parents Sharon and Ken, both of Alpine; wife, Jennifer Van Wormer; and sons Austin and Dalton. Rob is also survived by his brother Kirk, of Petaluma, who is a Chief Officer with CAL FIRE; and sister Debbie Van Wormer of Alpine.



CAL Fire Director Ken Pimlott says, “I am directing all CAL FIRE facilities to immediately lower flags to half staff and all uniform personnel to shroud badges until the conclusion of Chief Van Wormer’s memorial services.”


There is no memorial services information at this time.