Mark Pimentel was appointed Assistant Fire Chief on May 21st, 2021.Chief Pimentel is the 11 Assistant Chief since Merced County came into agreement with CAL FIRE in 1988.Under the direction of Fire Chief Mike van Loben Sels, Chief Pimentel manages the delivery of fire suppression and life safety services to more than 286,461 residents, commercial businesses in 4 cities and all unincorporated areas of Merced County. The Department's 1,979 square mile service area encompasses suburban areas, commercial districts, business centers, and thousands of acres of valuable farmland.
Chief Mark Pimentel started his career in 1996 when he became a Paid Call Firefighter. There he was trained, educated, and mentored by firefighters that worked for both Merced County and Atwater City. In 1999, he became a firefighter for CAL FIRE in the San Benito-Monterey Unit. In 2002 Mark was promoted to the rank of Fire Apparatus Engineer in the Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit, Merced Division. In 2009, Mark was promoted to the rank of Fire Captain at the Winton Fire Station. In 2011, he attended Fresno City College POST Academy and became a Peace Officer for CAL FIRE. In 2013, Mark was promoted to the rank of Battalion Chief in the City of Atwater. In 2017, Mark transferred to the McSwain Battalion (Battalion 16). Where he was able to manage the Hazmat, ARFF, and scheduling programs. During this time, he was also successful in bringing an electronic scheduling program to the Unit. In 2019, he transferred to the Los Banos Battalion (Battalion 17), where he oversaw both Schedule A and Schedule B operations as well as the fleet program for the Merced County Fire Department. Mark then transferred to the Merced Battalion (Battalion 18) to increase his knowledge of UC Merced and the Merced Division.
Mark is part of multiple cadres, including the POST defensive tactic training and live fire. He is a registered instructor for State Fire Marshal, CSTI, and a current Hazmat Team member.
Chief Pimentel is married to his wife Krystal, who is a local nurse, and they have three wonderful kids, Bree, Kai, and Colven.