Interim Fire Chief and Harbor Master
Redondo Beach Fire Department, CA
Patrick Butler is the interim Fire Chief and Harbor Master for the Redondo Beach Fire Department. He retired after 31 years as an Assistant Chief with the Los Angeles Fire Department before joining Redondo Beach.
During his distinguished career on the LAFD he held several key positions in the department and promoted through the ranks. His LAFD experience included Chief of Special Operations, where he directed the day-to-day management of the department’s specialized resources, including the FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Team ~ California Task Force 1. He served as the Chief of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis, Chief of Training, Commander of the Arson Counter Terrorism Unit, Commander of Fireboat No.2 in the Port of Los Angeles, Commander of Air Operations, and a Section Commander in the LAFD Homeland Security Division.
During his distinguished career, he responded to thousands of emergencies, including the 1992 Civil Disturbance, 1993 Malibu Wildfires, 1994 Northridge Earthquake and some of California’s largest wildfires. He served as the incident commander on several large complex wildfires and holds several qualifications.
His experience and research in human factors and decision science has been integral in conducting accident root cause analysis. Chief Butler has led dozens of accident investigations, and near misses, as well as serving on the LAFD significant incident investigation team. In 2018 Chief Butler served as an agency representative and human factors expert on the Interagency CAL FIRE/USFS Mendocino Entrapment Investigation.
His work in homeland security and public safety extends beyond the traditional boundaries. He served for over 22 years as a Deputy Sheriff with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reserves and retired as a detective.
Chief Butler holds a doctorate degree in Policy, Planning and Development from the University of Southern California, a master’s degree in Security Studies and Homeland Defense from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, a bachelor’s degree in Management and graduate of the Army West Point Leadership Program. He is a Harvard Fellow and studied as a Senior Executive Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Chief Butler is a general aviation pilot holding several ratings and a graduate of the USC School of Aviation Safety & Security with an emphasis on safety management systems.
Born the son of a Mexican immigrant, Patrick speaks fluent Spanish and spent much of his youth growing up in his mother’s hometown of Veracruz, Mexico.