top of page



Chief Contreras.jpeg

Michael Contreras worked with the Orange County Fire Authority 32 years.

Michael was hired with the Orange County Fire Department in 1989 as a firefighter and went to paramedic school in 1994. He then promoted to the rank of Fire Captain in 2002, Battalion Chief in 2012 and Division Chief and 2018. Michael has held many specialty positions and assignments that include Assistant Fire Training Officer, Academy Instructor, Academy Coordinator, and Wellness and Fitness Coordinator. Michael has also been also a member of the department’s hazmat/JHAT team, USAR team and swift water rescue team.


Chief Contreras was the local Fire Chief for the cities of Aliso Viejo, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest and the county unincorporated area of Emerald Bay.  He was Chairperson of OCFA’s Outreach/Recruitment/Candidate Program, co-creator of the Battalion Chief and Fire Captain Academies’ human relations/employee development, and leadership curriculum. Chief Contreras was also the co-founder of the department girl’s empowerment camp.


In 2021 Chief Contreras was assigned the position of Point of Distribution (POD) Director. As POD director, Chief Contreras had complete oversight of all personnel, logistics and planning for Orange County’s vaccination distribution for operation independence vaccination POD.


In February 2021 Chief Contreras was designated as a Chief Fire Officer (CFO) by the Center for Public Safety Excellence. Michael is in final stage of complete the nationally recognized International Association of Fire Chiefs Fire Service Executive Development Program.


Education and Personal Background

Chief Contreras attended Redondo Union High School where he received a football scholarship to the University of Nevada at Las Vegas to play football. Chief Contreras played both offense and defense during his time at UNLV.


Chief Contreras is in the process of obtaining his masters in Organization Leadership from California Coastal University and hopes to complete it by February of 2023.


He and his wife of 31 years, Michelle, have two sons, Chase and Michael. His oldest, Michael, is a firefighter with the Orange County Fire Authority. His son Chase is in real estate. Chief Contreras and Michelle enjoy traveling when they are able to get away.


Chief Contreras enjoys working out, training Jiu Jitsu, and being outdoors.


Chief Contreras is excited to be Fire Chief of Cathedral City Fire Department where he will focus on:

  • Improving on the department’s Service Delivery/Community involvement

  • To make CCFD more attractive to a generationally diverse candidate

  • Succession planning and employee development with a focus on constant improvement

Please help us give Chief a warm welcome as you see him around town!

Your safety is our business.

bottom of page