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City Announces Passing of Fire Chief

January 27, 2019


Fire Chief Tom Schultz Celebration of Life
Date: Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Time: 2:00 p.m.
EVFree Fullerton
2801 North Brea Boulevard
Fullerton, CA 92835

It is with profound sadness, that the City of Garden Grove notifies the community of the passing of Fire Chief Tom Schultz, today at noon, from stage 4 pancreatic and liver cancer.

“Garden Grove has lost an admirable man and an exceptional leader who proudly devoted himself to protecting lives and serving a community that will forever be in his debt. Our most heartfelt thoughts and condolences are with his family during this difficult time, shared by all those who knew him,” says Garden Grove Mayor Steve Jones.

Earlier this month, Schultz sought medical care at St. Jude Medical Center due to abdominal pain. Doctors diagnosed him with stage 4 pancreatic cancer that had spread to his liver. Schultz began chemotherapy treatments at St. Jude to reduce the size of the cancer and minimize the side effects associated with the cancer. On Saturday, Schultz’s condition worsened, leading to his passing this afternoon. His wife of over 30 years, Kim, their two daughters, son, and other close family members were at his side.

Schultz became the City of Garden Grove’s 13th fire chief on April 29, 2015, following a 30-year career with the Fullerton Fire Department, where he led their management consolidation with the Brea Fire Department as deputy chief.

He mentored future firefighters and fire service leaders as an instructor at the Santa Ana College fire technology program and held leadership positions in organizations such as the Orange County Fire Chiefs’ Association, and many county and state committees.

Last September, Schultz retired from the City, but at the request of City Manager Scott Stiles, continued to serve as annuitant fire chief.

“I have the highest regard and appreciation for Chief Schultz’s remarkable leadership of the Garden Grove Fire Department. His dedication, enthusiasm, and passion for this city and community are unmatched. He was a good friend, and a man of principle, devoted to his family, and to the men and women of the Garden Grove Fire Department. He will be deeply missed,” says Stiles.

Division Chief TJ McGovern, named Acting Fire Chief during Schultz’ illness, will continue to serve in that capacity until further notice.

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