The Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District has a new chief.
Word began circulating on social media over the weekend that a Riverbank firefighter had been chosen for the position.
“Your Stanislaus Consolidated Firefighters would like to congratulate our member, Mike Whorton, who has been promoted to Fire Chief of Stanislaus Consolidated. We wish you great things on this advancement and look forward to working with you to move our Department forward,” was the message posted on the Firefighters Union Local #3399 Facebook page.
The appointment of Whorton was confirmed by the District’s Public Information Officer, Captain Buck Condit, on Monday afternoon, Jan. 14. Condit said there would be a formal swearing in ceremony at a later date, either at the next regular meeting of the fire board or possibly at a special meeting.
Whorton was named to the post at the board’s Thursday, Jan. 10 session.
He started his career in 1990 at the Riverbank Fire Department and stayed with the department following the consolidation process in 1995.
“I’ve worked with Mike since 1995,” Condit said, adding that not only is he a firefighter but he is also involved with the community and active in supporting local youth sports.
He previously worked as an EMT on the Oak Valley Ambulance, served as the county’s fire investigator from 2004 to 2006 and also has a military background, having been in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1987 to 1993.
“He has a broad-based knowledge of the fire service here in Stanislaus County,” said Condit.
Whorton will be based out of the District headquarters, next to the Riverbank Fire Station No. 26 on Topeka Street. The Consolidated Fire Protection District now includes nine stations, two in Oakdale, one in Riverbank, Knights Ferry, Valley Home, the Airport District in Modesto, Empire, The Fruityard, Waterford and also has a unmanned station in La Grange.
Major industries within the Consolidated District’s jurisdiction include E & J Gallo Winery, the Beard Industrial District, Oak Valley Hospital and the Riverbank Army Ammunition Plant.
The District provides both fire and emergency medical services for 523 square miles.
Among other interests in the Riverbank area, Whorton is also the owner of the Pizza Plus restaurant on Santa Fe Street in downtown Riverbank, just a block over from the firehouse.
News Editor Marg Jackson contributed to this story.