B Shift Operations Personnel
Hometown: Lafayette, CA
Serving in the fire service since 1984 Fire Captain Shawn Cullen started his career as a Reserve Firefighter with the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District.
In March of 1989 Shawn was hired as a Firefighter by the University of California, Davis – Fire Department. He was promoted to the position of Fire Specialist II in 1991 and Fire Captain/Assistant Fire Marshal in 1994.
Captain Cullen has served as an adjunct instructor for the National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg Maryland since 1997. Through his teaching and course design on the topic of Integrated Emergency Management, Captain Cullen has instructed on the application of emergency management principles, which provides students the tools required to develop and implement policies, plans and procedures in an emergency operations center (EOC), such as the one on the UC Davis campus.
Captain Cullen has programmatic responsibility for the Hazardous Materials Response program and the Fire Department Record Management System.
Hometown: Yuba City, CA
Steve graduated high school in Yuba City, California in 1993. In 1995 he joined the Sutter County Fire Department as a Firefighter until 2002 when he joined the UC Davis Fire Deptartment where he now serves as the Engine 34 Captain on B shift. On his days off Captain Dunn teaches at Yuba Community College for the Fire Academy and also EMT program.
Hometown: Sacramento, CA
After graduating from UC Davis and serving three years as a Student Firefighter, Cesilio Mercado was hired on as a full time Firefighter with the UC Davis Fire Department in 2002. He currently serves as a Fire Engineer on B Shift.
Hometown: Sonoma, CA
Nate Potter is a Fire Engineer and has worked for UC Davis Fire Department since July 2007. Prior to UCDFD Nate worked as a wildland firefighter for Point Reyes National Seashore. He is also a volunteer for Napa County Fire’s, Carneros Volunteer Fire Department.
Nate is married and has two sons.
Hometown: Daly City, CA
Firefighter Rizzo has been serving in the fire service since 2005, when he became a member of the UC Davis Fire Department. After two years as a fire inspector in the fire prevention division, he became a firefighter in 2007, where he currently is assigned to the ladder truck on B-Shift.
Ben graduated from UC Davis in 2002 with a degree in Managerial Economics. While attending UC Davis, he was a member of the Cal Aggie Marching Band-uh! as well as a bus driver and trainer for Unitrans. In 2004, Firefighter Rizzo attended the Solano Fire Academy, and became a volunteer with the Dixon Fire Department shortly thereafter.
Firefighter Rizzo holds certifications in confined space, trench, and large animal rescue, and is also one of the departments’ hazardous materials specialists.
Ben is a member of the Sacramento Firefighters Pipes & Drums Band, where he plays the bass drum. He also is an avid cyclist, and enjoys photography, and playing the guitar.
Hometown: Ventura, CA
Tait began his fire service career in 2000 as a Volunteer Firefighter for the City of Chico. In 2002 he graduated from Butte Fire Academy in Oroville, and in 2004 was hired as a Firefighter for the City of Reno. He worked there for 6 years before coming back to California as a Firefighter for the UC Davis Fire Department in 2010. He is currently assigned to Truck 34.
Tait has a B.A. in Public Administration from California State University - Chico.
Hometown: Anaheim, CA
An Operation Desert Storm Veteran, Erich Schultz returned from his service with the 82nd Airborne Division in 1992 and started his fire career in 1993 as a volunteer Firefighter in San Juan Bautista, California.
Erich attended Gavilan Community College for undergraduate studies, transferring to San Jose State University to earn a Bachelors degree in Communications. Erich Left the Volunteer ranks in 2000 to start and run his own cabinetry company. In 2008 Erich returned to the fire service as a Paid Call Firefighter with Central Fire Protection District of Santa Cruz. During his time as a Paid call, Erich enrolled at Cabrillo College in Aptos and earned an Associates Degree in Fire Technology.
Firefighter Schultz joined the UC Davis Fire Department in 2011.