A small but important group of people gathered Friday at Murrieta Fire Station No. 1 on Juniper Street to further recognize the city's fire chief for his recent re-certification as a Chief Fire Officer.
Among the group was state Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore, whose 67th district includes Murrieta.
"I didn't think it was appropriate to let it go by unrecognized because it is a huge, huge success for you," said Melendez, who paid a planned visit to present Shobert with a framed California State Legislature "Member's Resolution" signed by herself and state Sen. Joel Anderson, R-Alpine.
A total of 865 fire chiefs worldwide hold the certification, something Shobert has achieved for the fourth time in his 28-year career in the fire service.
The chief fire officer designation is granted by the Commission of Professional Credentialing. Applicants must show experience, education, professional development, professional contributions, association membership, community involvement and technical competency.
"When you think of all the firefighters in the world out there, and he is one of the top tier, that is huge," Melendez said.
Joined by his wife, Tammy, Shobert said he was humbled by the legislators' recognition.
"It is very humbling to be here today," Shobert said. "The best thing about (this) is it gives credibility to this organization and myself as a fire chief that we are keeping the saw sharp, we are staying—hopefully—on the cutting edge of fire service and being responsive to...the needs of the community."
Firefighters whose schedules allowed it were on hand, as was Murrieta City Councilman Randon Lane.
"We are very proud of our chief...," Lane said. "We look for great leaders in our community and to have someone like Chief Shobert who continually impresses us...We are very glad to have him here."
Shobert came to the department in March 2011 after serving as the chief of the Hemet Fire Department. He said city employees—and a love for his job—are what makes his job easier.
"Was it Abraham Lincoln who said, 'If you find a job you love, you will never work day in your life?' I have been fire chief here for just a little over two years and it's the union—the firefighters—the battalion chiefs, the administrative staff and the council, they make it incredible. They make it a good place to come to work," Shobert said.