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This profile was last updated on 10/30/14  and contains information from public web pages.

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations

32 Total References
Web References
History | Who We Are | Sedona Fire Distict, 30 Oct 2014 [cached]
Fire Chief Larry Drake arrived from Orange County, California, in late 1999.
When Chief Drake resigned in early 2005, Deputy Chief Matt Shobert was tapped by the Board to handle the position of Fire Chief during an interim period.
Sedona Fire Chief Larry ..., 20 Nov 2004 [cached]
Sedona Fire Chief Larry Drake had written the statement at the direction of the board in November 2003.
"We aren't the experts," said Drake.
Sedona Fire District - History, 23 Feb 2007 [cached]
Fire Chief Larry Drake arrived in late 1999.
1999-2005 Larry Drake
Larry Drake, Sedona Fire ..., 13 Mar 2003 [cached]
Larry Drake, Sedona Fire District chief
Local firefighters attend theArizona Wildfire Academy for fire season training
"We're mostly concerned about the crown fires at the tops of the trees," explained Fire Chief Larry Drake."This kind of training makes us more prepared and provides a few more higher-qualified people."
A rapid, aggressive attack against any wildfire in Oak Creek Canyon this summer would require neighboring agencies both big and small to respond with confidence, said Drake.
The Arizona Wildfire Training Academy is being held from March 11 to 16 at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott.
Copyright Policy
Sedona - The Red Rock Review, 25 Dec 2003 [cached]
Now some Sedona Fire District volunteers are adding kindling to the great public relations fireballs lobbed by new Chief Larry Drake, who has developed a "One Hundred Day Report" for reform of existing fire district practices.
Drake's apparently well-organized and well-oiled report recommends restructuring the way volunteers are used, adding more full-time career employees, and eliminating the practice of full time employees "volunteering back" their time.
At stake is the future of how volunteers are utilized within a department that Drake would like to see rely increasingly on full-time, paid employees, while Wright would like to see volunteers continue to be a motivational force as well as a reminder of the history of the past firefighting strategies employed in the region.
Several meetings in June involved an exchange of emotionally-charged and sometimes heated rhetoric among longtime volunteers, the Sedona Fire District Board of Directors and Drake.The exchanges left some citizens wondering: Who will put out all the fires and how will it be accomplished?
Wright said he believes the answer to those questions is Drake making his actions match his rhetoric.Instead of merely apologizing for not involving the volunteers more in the major decisions of the fire district, he said Drake should make his actions reflect a sense of the community's history of dependence on volunteers.
Wright also feels Drake needs to demonstrate via his behavior, not just words, greater respect for the sacrifices that firefighters make when they go to put out a fire in Oak Creek Canyon or other hot spots around the area.
Volunteer firefighters, who often work for the love of helping others, in a missionary fashion, and usually have a longer tenure than full-time employees, feel that Drake has "established an aura of nontrust by not communicating" with the volunteers, Wright said.
Drake currently rents a house here and maintains a house in Prescott, where he had retired until applying for this job when learning about the opportunity on a visit.
Drake has been a man of action, trying to get the fire district back on its toes after years of suffering the fallout from a poor community image and frustrating billing and other administrative and financial screwups.These included problems with billing for paramedic and emergency medical technician services to local hospitals and health care centers and a controversy involving crimes committed by a firefighter who was later discharged.
Drake said he is concerned that a Labor Department fine the district faced in 1990, costing the district $60,000 in back wages for employees who volunteered back their services, coupled with a fragmented command network, pose significant problems to meeting the public's service needs.As a result, the Board approved Drake's request that employees no longer be allowed to volunteer back their services, causing several full-time employees to quit for various personal reasons, including one who left a June board meeting in tears over the matter.
Drake has repeatedly said he values volunteers in the district and does not want to eliminate them from the Sedona Fire District's operations.
"No one wants to eliminate the volunteer program," he said, noting that he will continue to meet with members of a task force of volunteer and career firefighters to work through implementation of the new command structure.
Currently, Sedona's volunteer firefighters have full and free health care benefits without a minimum number of hours being served.Each side agrees that this is a unique situation, one that Wright attributes to the community's longtime respect and appreciation for volunteer fire service.Drake, who admits he was once reluctant to take on administrative duties after years of work as a hands-on firefighter, confides that he is less comfortable with the politics of administering over the Sedona bureaucracy.
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