MURRIETA – Robert “Bob” Bassett officially retired from the Murrieta Fire Department (MFD) on Thursday, Dec. 13. He began his fire service career as reserve with the Murrieta Fire Protection District in 1990. Subsequently he became a firefighter in 1991.
Obtaining California State Fire Inspector I credentials, Bassett served the Murrieta community for 22 years, inspecting most all of the major construction projects, ensuring fire protection standards were met.
“I don’t know if anyone will remember the movie ‘Towering Inferno,’ but I helped to build the scaffolding for the movie’s rescue chopper to land on. I also helped to build the set for ‘Planet of the Apes’ and for a few other movies. Years ago, I was also a construction superintendent in Boise, Idaho. When I moved to Murrieta and became a firefighter, it just seemed like the thing to do to take courses in fire alarm technology and fire inspecting,” said Bassett.
The growth in the Murrieta community has been keeping Bassett busy for 20 years.
“I’ve been in most of the commercial buildings, looking at the type of building structure and the occupancy loads. What I’m really looking at is the prevention of fire. This is the foundation to the fire and building codes. I’m also looking at how a fire can be contained within the structure,” Bassett said.
The biggest change in fire prevention that Bassett thinks is pivotal is the mandated sprinkler system installation in new, residential construction. Bassett has served as the president of the Riverside Fire Prevention Officers Association and Murrieta’s Safety Committee. He earned an associate’s degree in Fire Science and boasts numerous, academic and fire specialty certifications.
“It’s been an honor to work with the professional staff of the Murrieta Fire Department. I’m going to miss the camaraderie and the teamwork. I’m not going to miss getting up at six in the morning, though,” Bassett said. “My wife, Jane, and I plan on spending a lot of time with our grandkids. I’m going to do a lot of fishing, too.”