Hometown favourite | Thousand Oaks Acorn

BADGE OF HONOR—Ted Smith is timid currently after 40 years with a Ventura County Fire Department. “It’s a blessing,” says a T.O.fire chief. “They don’t let everybody in.” At left, Smith’s ID label from his early days in a department. JACQUELINE RODRIGUEZ/Acorn Newspapers

BADGE OF HONOR—Ted Smith is timid currently after 40 years with a Ventura County Fire Department. “It’s a blessing,” says a T.O. glow chief. “They don’t let everybody in.”  JACQUELINE RODRIGUEZ/Acorn Newspapers

In 1978, Ted Smith spent his initial change as a glow cadet with a Ventura County Fire Department during Station 30 on Hillcrest Drive. Today, a Thousand Oaks local will be during a same residence opposite a travel from The Oaks mall as he works a final change of a 40-year career.


Ted Smith’s ID label from his early days in a department.

Smith, a multiplication arch who oversees operations in Thousand Oaks and Simi Valley, announced his retirement late final year.

As he looks brazen to days enjoying golf and his wife’s green-bean casserole, he pronounced he’s beholden for a respect of carrying been means to offer a village he grew adult in.

“To have been means to paint my hometown as glow chief, it’s been an honor,” he said. “It’s a blessing. They don’t let everybody in.”

Native son

The timid arch is Thousand Oaks innate and bred. His relatives changed here shortly before his birth in 1960. He attended Acacia Elementary, Redwood Middle School and Thousand Oaks High School. He grew adult personification Conejo Cowboys football and was an All-American linebacker for a Lancers.

Smith started as a cadet with a glow dialect in 1978. By 19, he was partial of a palm crew. He rose by a ranks from firefighter to captain in stations via eastern Ventura County before being promoted to corps arch in 2000. He done multiplication arch in 2011.

Smith had a palm in fighting several ancestral wildfires during his four-decade career, including a Kanan glow in 1978 that burnt from Agoura Hills to a Pacific Ocean in a matter of hours. He served as operations arch during a Topanga glow in 2005 and a Springs glow in 2013. He also helped quarrel a Thomas glow that destroyed 281,893 acres this winter to turn a largest wildfire in California history.

He’s also been initial on stage during calls including aroused automobile crashes, technical rescues and floods. He also helped broach dual babies.

The glow dialect maestro pronounced after going out on a call, glow crews run down a occurrence during a debriefing event behind during a station. He pronounced those times of thoughtfulness with his associate firefighters helped him routine a formidable scenes he’s witnessed.

“The existence is we can literally see how life can change in an instant,” he said. “Talking about it is a recovering process.”

APPRECIATION—Retiring Thousand Oaks Fire Chief Ted Smith, right, presents Capt. Kenny Kappen, left, with a Ventura County Firefighter of a Year endowment during a 41st Law Enforcement Firefighters Appreciation and Awards Banquet on Feb. 2 during a Elk’s Lodge in Thousand Oaks. SUSAN WEININGER/Acorn Newspapers

‘A good individual’

Smith has done many tighten friends in a dialect over a years, including late emissary arch Dave Festerling, who is a godfather to Smith’s oldest son.

“I’ve had a event to watch him grow in his life, in his faith and in his profession,” Festerling pronounced of Smith. “He’s a good guy.”

In a rite during Thousand Oaks City Council’s Feb. 6 meeting, Mayor Andy Fox called Smith “one of Ventura County’s finest.”

“Beyond a good professional, Ted is a good individual,” pronounced Fox, an partner arch with a Los Angeles Fire Department.

VCFD Chief Mark Lorenzen has been friends with Smith given they were both promoted to captain in 1994. He pronounced a timid arch is a gifted glow commander.

“I’m always vacant during his extraordinary talent and competence,” he said. “He’s only truly a caring, merciful individual. There’s substantially no peculiarity some-more critical in being a firefighter.”

T.O. Police Chief Tim Hagel grew adult with Smith and a span became friends 53 years ago. Hagel pronounced any time they have bumped into any over a past half century, either during a football diversion or a automobile crash, Smith has asked Hagel a same question: “How we doing, Tim?”

“This gives me chills as we speak about that,” Hagel said. “Ted has checked in with me my whole life and asked me how I’m doing—sincere, from a heart. And we unequivocally conclude that.”

Proud husband, father

Smith’s oldest son, Nathaniel, is 20 and study sports broadcasting during Arizona State University (he even has a few bylines in the Acorn). He pronounced it’s tough to suppose what his fitness-minded father will do in retirement though he’s certain his father won’t be giving adult his intense, pre-dawn workouts anytime soon.

“He’s a maniac,” he said.

Nathaniel’s younger brother, Luke, is study communications during Boise State University. The 18-year-old pronounced examination his father’s adore for his pursuit done him wish to pursue a career in firefighting himself.

“He’s my inspiration,” he said. “He always only instilled unequivocally good values in us. It’s all elementary things though it’s a elementary things that means a most.”

After spending his whole adult life pushing around with lights and sirens, a Newbury Park proprietor pronounced he is looking brazen to vital a elementary life for once. The former Lancer has defected to Newbury Park High School to manager a youth varsity linebackers.

He pronounced what he unequivocally wants in retirement is to hang out with his mother of 22 years, Rachel. She teaches kindergarten during Cypress Elementary and Smith pronounced he skeleton to assistance out in her classroom—mostly by bringing doughnuts before school.

“She’s a adore of my life,” he said. “There’s no one I’d rather spend time with.”

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