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Somerton Cocopah Fire Chief DeAnda retires

Outgoing Somerton Cocopah Fire Chief Paul DeAnda
Victor Calderón/KAWC
Outgoing Somerton Cocopah Fire Chief Paul DeAnda

The chief of the Somerton Cocopah Fire Department is stepping down after more than three decades.

Fire Chief Paul DeAnda has 34 years of fire service, with almost 28 years as chief. He’s seen Somerton go from a volunteer fire department when he started to a state-certified department that has partnered with the Cocopah Indian Tribe to serve the two communities.

DeAnda was born and raised in Somerton. Although he’s stepping down as fire chief, he says you’ll still see him in the area.

“I want to look for employment here in the area," DeAnda told KAWC." I want to continue serving South County. My heart’s always been in Somerton, always had a real close relationship with the tribe. Our best friends growing up were tribal members that lived next door to us. I feel the need to continue serving in this area at least until I can’t anymore.”

Captain Javier Hernandez has been appointed as the interim fire chief. He begins Friday.

Victor is originally from West Sacramento, California and has lived in Arizona for more than five years. He began his print journalism career in 2004 following his graduation from Georgetown University in Washington D.C. Victor has been a reporter for the following daily newspapers: The Monterey County Herald, The Salinas Californian and the Reno Gazette-Journal, where he covered stories including agriculture, education and Latino community news. Victor has also served as a local editor for Patch, a national news organization with hyperlocal websites, in Carmichael, California in the Sacramento area. He also served as the editor for The New Vision, the newspaper for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson, which includes Yuma and La Paz counties. Victor lives in Somerton. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends and following most sports.
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