Meet Cori Rickert
16 years with the City of Santa Rosa
Meet Cori Rickert, Fire Captain for Santa Rosa Fire Department Engine 5. Cori directs her crew during incidents and guides what actions to take in an emergency. Cori takes great pride in keeping her crew and the community safe, while simultaneously mitigating an emergency. The fire service is part of Cori’s DNA, with both of her parents having had careers in the fire service. Cori’s mother was a fire inspector, also for SRFD, and Cori’s father was a Chief for Gold Ridge Fire Protection District. Cori got her start in the fire service as a fire explorer with Gold Ridge and then CalFire right after high school graduation. After 6 seasons with CalFire Cori joined the Santa Rosa Fire Department, and the rest is history! Cori has enjoyed a successful career with SRFD; starting out as a firefighter for seven years, then promoted to an engineer for four years, and then promoted again to fire captain five years ago. What initially attracted Cori to apply to SRFD were the ladder trucks (not always a tool that other cities have at their disposal) and the variety of calls for service she gets to go to, including Structure Fires to Wildland Fires, and a lot in between. Cori enjoys getting involved in the different programs and meeting the many people that make up the City of Santa Rosa, as an organization. Cori feels supported and encouraged by her fire department to keep helping out, building, and improving as a public safety professional. On top of the literal fires, they put out each day, Cori and her crew also find time to have a good time together too. Cori attributes her success to her support network – her family, friends, coworkers, and supervisors. She encourages others who are interested in a career in public safety to have a mentor in both their career and in life. You can learn a lot from another’s experiences, and it can give you a different perspective on things. Cori thinks it is important for a variety of people, from many different backgrounds and experiences, to consider a career in public safety. She often hears people, and particularly women, say that they “could never be” or “would be awful” as a firefighter. This usually comes from a lack of understanding of what the job really entails. Cori emphasizes that this is not a job based on brute strength but rather one of skills, tactics, and brains. Cori’s advice to others? Be willing to learn and be flexible. Being a firefighter is a rewarding career, especially if you embrace your skills and the community you serve. When Cori isn’t busy working you can find her spending time with her husband, also in the fire service as a CalFire fire captain, and their 6-year-old daughter. Cori also helps with the toy and food drive for Gold Ridge Fire Protection District and is the Peer Support Coordinator for SRFD.