TEMPLETON — The Templeton Community Services District announced Thomas “Tom” Peterson as the new Fire Chief effective Aug. 17. Chief Peterson is a 30-year veteran of the fire service and longtime Templeton resident, with 21 years of fire service experience as a volunteer with Templeton Fire (1990-2011), currently serving as a Battalion Chief with the City of Atascadero.

Templeton Fire Chief Peterson
New Templeton Fire Chief Tom Peterson

He is the first full-time Fire Chief since 2012. His hiring is made possible due to voters approving a parcel tax (Measure A) increase of $15 per month in 2019 to provide additional funding for the District’s Fire and Emergency Services Department. Petersen was hired after an extensive statewide search.

Peterson follows Interim Fire Chief Bill White, who has been working on a part-time basis for the District for the past five years while maintaining his full-time position with the Atascadero Fire Department as a Battalion Chief.

Peterson is excited for the opportunity to serve in the role of Fire Chief for the Templeton Community. Peterson said he looks forward to “working with community members and all the Templeton staff to start Templeton Fire and Emergency Services out on a positive path as we transition to a fulltime department.” “It is an honor to serve the community I have been a part of for 33 years and I look forward to all the opportunities on the horizon for Templeton Fire and Emergency Services and the community we serve.”


Templeton CSD General Manager Jeff Briltz stated, “the Templeton Community Services District is fortunate to have someone of Peterson’s caliber and background joining us. With the threat of wildfire on everyone’s mind and the implementation of 24/7 station, staffing this position is key for us as an organization and as a community. We were looking for someone with proven experience, a hands-on philosophy and positive outlook. We are very pleased to bring Tom on board here in Templeton.”