Nate Armstrong
CAL FIRE - San Mateo/Santa Cruz Unit Chief



Nate Armstrong has been appointed
Unit Chief of the San Mateo Santa Cruz Unit (CZU),
effective November 1, 2021.

Chief Armstrong makes his home in Ben Lomond, CA and has served
the public and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection for 22 years.

Career Highlights

Chief Armstrong began his fire service career in 1999 as a reserve firefighter for the City of Orange.
In 2001 he was hired on a Type II hand crew for the Angeles National Forest and continued to work as a reserve firefighter and intern for several local government fire departments until he was hired by the San Bernardino County Fire Department as a Limited Term Firefighter in 2004. There he worked various
assignments and was a member of the Urban Search and Rescue and Swiftwater Rescue teams.

In 2007 Chief Armstrong was hired by CAL FIRE as a Firefighter II (Paramedic) in the Riverside Unit.
Shortly after, he promoted to Fire Apparatus Engineer (Paramedic) in the San Benito-Monterey Unit (BEU)
and in September 2007 and in 2010 he promoted to LT Fire Captain in the Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit (NEU)
returning back to BEU as a Permanent Fire Captain where his assignments included
Emergency Command Center and Training Captain/EMS Coordinator.

In 2015 Chief Armstrong promoted to Battalion Chief in BEU coordinating the Advanced Life Support
program and Cooperative Agreement operations in the West Division including oversight of the
Cypress and Carmel Highlands contracts on the Monterey Peninsula. In September 2017,
Chief Armstrong transferred to San Mateo-Santa Cruz (CZU) Unit Headquarters Battalion as a State
Mission operations Battalion Chief and in August 2018, he promoted to Assistant Chief of Administration.
In June of 2020 he promoted again to the Deputy Chief of Operations for CZU; overseeing state operations, Santa Cruz County Fire Department and the Pajaro Valley Fire Protection District.

Throughout his career Chief Armstrong has sat on numerous committees, working groups, and cadres
at the local and statewide levels and currently is a member of CAL FIRE's Supervision Level II cadre.
He has also been involved in ECC Support Teams and CAL FIRE Incident Management Teams and is
currently a Liaison Officer on CAL FIRE Incident Management Team 1 and a Type 1 IC Trainee.

Chief Armstrong holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Safety Administration and a Master’s Degree in
Public Administration from Cal State University, Dominguez Hills.