Rick Howard was born in December 1965 and raised in Glendora, California. Rick attended K-12 in the Charter Oak School District and began his fire service career in 1985. While attending Chaffey Community College, in 1985-86, Rick pursued an Associated Science Degree in Fire Technology.
During the fire season of 1987 and 1988 Rick was employed as a Seasonal Firefighter for CDF in San Diego County. In the spring of 1988, Rick would enroll and complete a 306-hour State Fire Marshall Accredited Fire Academy, at Allan Hancock College, and obtain his Emergency Medical Technician Certification. During the Academy Rick held the honor of being Class President. During the years of 1988-90, Rick would work part-time for the City of Pismo Beach as a Paid-Call Firefighter / Ocean Lifeguard and as a full-time EMT for Five Cities Ambulance.
In the fall of 1990 and in the midst of Paramedic school, Rick was hired full-time as a Fire Apparatus Engineer / Lifeguard Supervisor for the City of Pismo Beach Fire Department. Rick began supervising the Lifeguard Program in 1991 with 6 lifeguards, 1 tower and 1 patrol vehicle. In 1994, Rick oversaw the implementation of the inaugural Junior Lifeguard Program for the City of Pismo Beach.
In 1996 Rick was promoted to Fire Captain, continued as the Lifeguard Administrator and became a member of the San Luis Obispo County Technical Rescue Team. Along with his full time Fire Captain/Lifeguard Administrator duties Rick also worked part time for CMC Rescue School instructing high and low angle rope rescue to firefighters, police officers and search / rescue personnel from 1996 to 2006. In 1996 Rick completed his Company Officer certification (400 hours of course work) through the California State Fire Marshals Office. In 1997 Rick was awarded the prestigious honor of being named the Pismo Beach Fire Department City Employee of the Year for his outstanding contributions to the Lifeguard and Junior Lifeguard Programs.
After 10 years of administering the Lifeguard and Junior Lifeguard Programs Rick was re-assigned to Fire Prevention Bureau in 2000 where he became a Fire Prevention Officer and Fire Investigator for the City of Pismo Beach. In December 2001, Fire Protection for the City of Pismo Beach was contracted to Cal Fire. Rick remained at the Pismo Beach Firehouse, as a Fire Captain, handling day-to-day operations, coordinating the Cities Reserve Firefighter Program and assisting with managing the Fire Department’s budget. In 2003-present, Rick became a member of the San Luis Obispo Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Team.
In 2006, Rick was re-assigned to administer both the Lifeguard and Junior Lifeguard Programs for the City of Pismo Beach and remains in that capacity today. The Lifeguard Department now consists of 25 lifeguards, 5 towers and 1 patrol vehicle. In November 2012 Rick celebrated 24 years with the community of Pismo Beach and 25 years in the Fire / Rescue / Emergency Services.
Rick has been a member of the United States Lifesaving and California Surf Lifesaving Associations since 1989.