Sims Hawkins

Batallion Chief, CAL FIRE Butte Unit B2113

I’ve lived in Butte County since 1982 and graduated from Pleasant Valley High School and Butte College.  I worked as a welder right out of high school at local businesses in Butte County. As a long-time member of the Boy Scouts of America, I have always had a desire to help others, and growing up in a family of loggers and volunteer firefighters, I found myself stepping foot in the fire service career as a sawyer instructor for USDA Forest Service in 1993.  After taking numerous courses in Administration of Justice at Butte College, in 1995 I was asked to become a Butte County volunteer firefighter. Over the next five years working as a volunteer firefighter within the communities of Butte Valley and North Chico, I decided to make the fire service my career choice. In 1997 I graduated from the Butte College Fire Academy and immediately started my CAL FIRE career as a Seasonal Firefighter in the Butte Unit working in the communities of Butte Meadows, Richvale, and Nord.  In the winter off-season, I was fortunate enough to get back to welding at local businesses. In 1998 I also started the additional career of marriage, which I continue to this day with my wife and two beautiful children.

In 1999 I left CAL FIRE to work for the USDA Forest Service, Feather River Ranger District, as an Assistant Fire Engine Operator at the Challenge Station.  In 2000 I was hired back with CAL FIRE as a Fire Apparatus Engineer in the Butte Unit where I worked in the communities of Robinson Mill, Bangor, and North Chico, and was also a member of the Butte Interagency Technical Rescue Team.  On my days off I assisted with rice harvesting and field preparation in the community of Richvale.

In 2004 I promoted to Fire Captain and worked in the Lassen-Modoc Unit at the Happy Camp Station, then the Tehama-Glenn Unit at the Baker Station, then transferred to Valley View Conservation Camp as a Fire Crew Captain where I was responsible for the sawyer training of inmate firefighters as an unlimited Class C faller.  In 2008 I transferred back to the Butte Unit as a Fire Captain working at the Richvale Fire Station, responsible for the Butte Interagency Mass Casualty Unit and medical program.

In 2013, going back to my college roots, I promoted to Fire Captain Specialist and attended CAL FIRE’s Peace Officer Standards Training (POST) Academy.  As a State Law Enforcement Officer, I worked in the Butte Unit Fire Prevention Bureau as a Fire Investigator/Peace Officer and am a member of the Butte County Fire Investigation Team, California Conference of Arson Investigators, CAL FIRE Fire Investigation Cadre, Field Training Officer, CAL FIRE Firearms Cadre, and certified POST Instructor.  

In 2017 I promoted to my current position as Battalion Chief, assigned to the relief field battalion within the Butte Unit.  The relief battalion covers all areas of Butte County behind field Battalion Chiefs who are off shift or away on other assignments.