Templeton names new interim fire chief

The Templeton Fire Department has a new interim fire chief in Steven Negro, former fire chief for the Salinas Rural Fire Department.

Negro will take over Monday for Interim Fire Chief and longtime volunteer firefighter Rod Hewitt, who is retiring.

Hewitt retired from the department as assistant fire chief in November 2011 but was brought back after Fire Chief Jim Langborn left to start a new fire department in Texas in November 2012.

Since then, Hewitt has overseen management and operations of the 25-person volunteer fire department, as well as the recent move to explore the department’s long-term sustainability.

But because of restrictions on the number of hours a state employee can work after retirement, Hewitt must retire again or lose his CalPERS benefits, Templeton General Manager Jeff Briltz said at a special meeting of the Templeton Community Services District Board of Directors on Tuesday.

Related stories from San Luis Obispo Tribune