Heather Marques

Division Chief
Alameda County Fire Department, CA
Chief Heather Marques, M.A. is a Division Chief of Medical Services for an all-risk fire department in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. Her agency’s district covers over 500 square miles and provides fire suppression, ALS emergency medical services, fire prevention, and public education. Heather is trained as a Nationally Registered Paramedic, a hazmat specialist, a confined space rescue technician, water rescue specialist, and teaches at the fire academy. She also teaches paramedic level courses and is a certified instructor and lead skills evaluator for the California State Fire Marshal.  She serves on the California State Fire Association (CSFA) Leadership, Equity, Diversity and Service committee.  Heather holds an associate degree in photography, an associate degree in paramedicine, and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley. Heather has attended the Los Angeles Fire Department Leadership Academy.  She recently graduates the master’s program in Security Studies at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. Her thesis is about the challenges faced by female firefighters. Her thesis is titled Working Fire: Recruitment and Retention of Women Firefighters.

Sessions by Heather Marques

02:00 PM - 05:00 PM

Seeing What Others Don’t:  How the Fire and Emergency Medical Services can be Trained to Identify Human Trafficking

Instructors:  Division Chief Heather Marques and Benjamin Thomas Greer, J.D., M.A., Emergency Management Instructor, California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES)  
The American Fire and Emergency Medical Services sit at a critical juncture of public health, public security, and public trust. As community based first responders, they have unique access to environments which would be otherwise inaccessible to law enforcement or social services.  All available data indicates many of our communities have a significant human trafficking problem; one that is targeting and exploiting the most vulnerable among us. Studies show firefighters and paramedics are likely to unknowingly interact with victims/survivors of trafficking and or be exposed to trafficking related suspicious activity. By properly training and integrating Fire/EMS personnel in the national antitrafficking response structure we will significantly increase our ability to identify human trafficking related suspicious behavior, victims of exploitation thus hold the perpetrators accountable for their criminal actions.   This class will prepare agencies for responding to Assembly Bill 2130, requiring new EMTs and paramedics to undergo mandatory human trafficking awareness training, and create a pathway for training first responders statewide in intervention.