"Work hard and don't sweat the small stuff," said Captain Keith Andrew Becker, one of three new fire captains in town as a result of the San Pasqual Fire Department assuming management of the Valley Center Fire Protection District from Cal Fire. The Valley Roadrunner will be introducing all three of them to you in the coming weeks.
With 10 years of experience for the San Pasqual Fire Department, Becker is already very familiar with the area. Born in New York City, he lived in Escondido for a year when he was 10 years old. He has had no problems settling into Valley Center so far.
"I like the small town ambiance, the neighborliness if you will," he said.
Becker is accustomed to fighting fires in a rural area. "I'm going to ride out the rest of my career here," he said.
Becker has been a captain for 4 years now. He's all about keeping things running smoothly and minimizing the drama. He is also the department training officer.
"You take the good and leave the bad behind," he said of his mission as fire captain.
Aside from overseeing VCFPD, Becker does some real estate work, pilots helicopters, and takes care of his family.
"I raise my two sons and that's a full-time job," said Becker.
He lives in Ladera Ranch, Orange County with his wife Katrina, and his two sons Andrew and Tristan. He also has an exceptionally obedient four-month-old chocolate lab named Samson, who will begin arson school soon.
Since the San Pasqual Fire Department began managing the VCFPD at the beginning of September, everything has run as it should, according to Becker.
"Not a single hiccup, nothing," he said. "We were over here all the time anyway." Although it is a different department overseeing the VCFPD, the long history of cooperation between the agencies should ensure a smooth transition.
"We've worked side by side with Cal Fire as long as I can remember," said Becker. "When we're on the fire line, everyone wears the same colors. We're all in yellow."