Fire Chief Michel retires after 35 years in Rancho Santa Fe


The Rancho Santa Fe Association honored Rancho Santa Fe Fire Chief Tony Michel on Dec. 6, as Michel has retired after 35 years of service to the community.

RSF Association Manager Christy Whalen and Board President Ken Markstein presented Michel with a proclamation acknowledging their “deep appreciation” for his leadership and the strong relationship between the district and the Association.

Michel began in the Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection district as a 27-year-old cadet.

“Chief Michel has been an integral part of the Rancho Santa Fe community since 1983 and he has helped the Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District to shape the district to be a premier first response agency,” the proclamation stated. “Chief Michel has a reputation for professionalism, responsiveness and excellence.”

From student firefighter, Michel went through every position possible at RSF: firefighter, engineer, captain, deputy fire marshal, CERT program manager, deputy chief of training and deputy chief of operations. He has been the chief of the district for the last eight years.

“I never knew it would be 35 years and I never knew I would end up being fire chief,” Michel said. “I leave you in great hands with Fred Cox. Fred Cox has extensive experience with the Ranch, he’s been here almost as long as I have.”

“I truly value the relationship the district and the Association had for many years.”