William Sager, CFC, EFO, Senior Associate Emeritus
With over 40 years in fire service, Chief Sager served as a firefighter, Captain, training officer, Chief Officer, and Fire Chief. He started his career as a member of a pickup firefighter crew for the US Forest Service in 1964. He then went on to complete his college education and serve in the US Navy. He retired from the US Naval Reserve as a Lieutenant in 1977.
In 1971, he received an appointment with CAL FIRE in their trainee program. He then went on to serve as a firefighter, engineer, Fire Captain, and training officer in Fresno County. In 1976, he received an appointment as a field Battalion Chief in Butte County. He held this rank until 1985, when he received a promotion to Division Chief in charge of administrative services in Butte County for the CAL FIRE Butte Unit and the Butte County Fire Department. He switched to field operations in 1990 when he took over responsibility for the south half of the Butte Unit and Butte County Fire Department. During this time, he was instrumental in developing automatic aid agreements with the City of Oroville and other adjacent fire departments. He also negotiated the cooperative agreements whereby CAL FIRE provided the staffing for the fire departments under contract in the Cities of Gridley and Biggs. In 1999, the Director of CAL FIRE appointed Chief Sager as the Butte Unit Chief and Fire Chief for Butte County and the Cities of Biggs and Gridley.
Chief Sager has a bachelor of science degree in Forestry, with a minor in Landscape Architecture, from the University of California, Berkeley. He holds a lifetime, limited service California community college teaching credential in fire science. He has completed numerous community college credits in fire protection and law enforcement training, as well as other course work in fire protection.
Chief Sager is certified as Fire Chief and Chief Officer by the California State Board of Fire Services, and he is a designated Chief Fire Officer by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International. He is recipient of the Governor’s Employee Safety Award and the State of California Supervisory Superior Accomplishment Award. He served as Incident Commander for CAL FIRE Type 1 Incident Management Team #6 for three years.
Chief Sager was a member of the Oroville City Planning Commission, was previously the president of the Butte County Fire Chiefs Association, served as chairman of the Butte County Government Council, and served as chairperson for a number of CAL FIRE committees and task forces, including The Changing Face of CDF—Retention and Promotion and the Case Management Task Force. He has been involved in developing training materials for firefighters and fire officers at the local, state, and national levels, including the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and the National Wildfire Coordinating Group in Boise, Idaho.