Donald R. Parker was a member of the California fire service for over 41 years. He retired as Fire Chief from the City of Vallejo in December, 2007. Chief Parker began his career in the Oakland Fire Department in 1966 and retired from Oakland in 1999 as Assistant Fire Chief. Chief Parker has been a first responder to some of the state’s largest natural disasters. In 1989, he was part of the City’s overhead management team that coordinated response and recovery efforts following the Loma Preita earthquake. In 1991, he served as one of the fire ground commanders who fought the Oakland Hills firestorm. He has been an ardent advocate of better earthquake and fire safety measures and is recognized as an international expert on matters of government response and recovery to earthquakes. Chief Parker lectured in Japan, and has counseled colleagues in England and Germany on state of the art measures for disaster prevention. Civic leaders in Florida, Kentucky, Oregon, Washington, Maryland and Arizona in addition to several communities in California have consulted with Chief Parker for his insight and advice in disaster prevention.
Chief Parker is a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the National Fire Protection Association, the International Association of Fire Fighters, and the California Fire Chiefs Association. Chief Parker is a former member of the California State Seismic Safety Commission and was elected chairman in 2007.
Chief Parker grew up in Oakland and is a graduate of the Oakland public school system. In 1999, he was honored by the Marcus A. Foster Educational Institute as the recipient of the Distinguished Oakland Public Schools Alumnus of the Year award.
A Vietnam veteran, Chief Parker served in the United States Navy. An active Mason, he led numerous charitable events, most notably for the Oakland Scottish Rite Children’s Language Disorder Clinic.
A resident of Danville, CA, Chief Parker and his wife Nancy have been married since 1964, they have two children.