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Lou Paulson, President

 Lou Paulson is President of California Professional Firefighters, representing 30,000 public safety professionals. As CPF President, he serves as co-chair of the California Fire Fighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee, and as the chair of the California Fire Foundation. He has worked as a Contra Costa fire captain since 1984, and continues to work “A” Shift at Walnut Creek Fire Station #1.

Since his election as CPF president in 2004, Paulson has established a reputation as a leading figure in California’s fire service as well as the state’s labor movement. Paulson has helped lead the efforts to bring better equipment, staffing and training to California’s first responders As CFFJAC co-chair, his tenure has seen the opening of two first-of-their-kind centers for administering the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT). Mr. Paulson serves on the executive board of the California Federation of Labor.

As president of CPF, Mr. Paulson has been a leader in the fight to protect working Californians – in particular front line firefighters – from an unprecedented assault on a range of hard-won workplace protections. Mr. Paulson serves as a director and chief spokesman for Californians for Health Care and Retirement Security, a broad-based coalition that has risen up against legislative efforts to impose a privatized retirement system on public employees. He also helped direct the Alliance for a Better California, which conducted the successful special election fight against a broad-based assault on working families.

As a Contra Costa firefighter, Mr. Paulson helped co chair Health and Safety Committee for his local union, the United Professional Firefighters of Contra Costa County Local 1230. He served for 10 years as President of Local 1230, and served two years as 4th District Vice President of California Professional Firefighters prior to his election as president.


Mr. Paulson has served on a number of state and national advisory committees. He served as a consultant for the IAFF’s Hazardous Materials Program. And has, since its inception participated as a trainer in the IAFF/ IAFC Joint Leadership Training Initiative. He is also a member of the Commonwealth Club’s Voice of Reform project. He has been honored by the Alameda Labor Federation as its Labor Person of the Year, and has received numerous commendations for his work with the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

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