Fire Chief Bob Martin Del Campo carries a plaque and a proclamation from the city following his retirement announcement. Photo by Monserrat Solis.
Fire Chief Bob Martin Del Campo carries a plaque and a proclamation from the city following his retirement announcement. Photo by Monserrat Solis.

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After 21 years of serving the Hollister Fire Department, Fire Chief Bob Martin Del Campo is retiring.  

The Hollister City Council congratulated and celebrated Martin Del Campo’s services to the community Oct. 16. Martin Del Campo oversaw more than 30,000 calls and responded to more than 5,000 calls during his tenure. 

“It was an honor and a privilege to serve,” Martin Del Campo said after receiving his proclamation and a plaque from the city. “There is nothing better and more rewarding than serving your community in uniform.”

After his farewell speech, Martin Del Campo and Fire Battalion Chief Rodney Dover performed a chain of command ceremony—a military tradition marking a formal transfer of authority—and the role of interim fire chief was bestowed to Dover.

“As your new interim fire chief, I just want to say it’s very humbling for me to get the kind of support I’ve gotten from everybody,” Dover said. “Never in my wildest days did I think I’d be working as the chief here in this Hollister Fire Department.”

Dover will start his new role as interim fire chief Oct. 21, Fire Battalion Chief Charlie Bedolla said.

Martin Del Campo also received the last American flag that flew over the Hollister Fire Station no.1 and a bottle of spirits.

In July, the 2022-23 San Benito County Civil Grand Jury criticized Martin Del Campo for his “extended absence” and claimed he had a “laissez-faire” leadership style. This caused confusion and unnecessary stress among the ranks, the report said. 

Martin Del Campo told BenitoLink the report had no impact on his decision to retire. 

Before taking on the role of fire chief for Hollister in 2015, Martin Del Campo served as the Division Fire Chief for Watsonville for nearly five years starting in 2010. 

His background includes serving in the U.S. Army and the Marine Corps. 

Martin Del Campo served as an aircraft firefighter, rescueman and combat engineer in the Marine Corps for nearly 12 years, according to his LinkedIn page. He was a master sergeant in the Army for 19 years and a Regional Emergency liaison officer for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region IX for nine years in 2009. 

Martin Del Campo was a senior enlisted leader for the Army Reserve for over three years in 2018 and a master sergeant for the Army War College for over a year in 2021.

Currently, Martin Del Campo works for FEMA as an emergency management specialist, his LinkedIn page states.

He said he will start a new job as an Emergency Manager for the Army Garrison for the city of Monterey shortly after his retirement begins.

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Monserrat Solis covers San Benito County for BenitoLink as part of the California Local News Fellowship with UC Berkeley. A San Fernando Valley native, she's written for the Southern California News Group,...