Our Leader

Retired Fire Chief Jerry Austin Sr.


Operation ReachBack, Incorporated (ORB) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to holistic enhancement of young people in Inner Cities Communities including a global presence that reaches as far as Africa. This year marks the 26th year since its inception. In retrospect, your support has assisted ORB in construction of a school and library, providing educational and medical supplies, drilling wells to provide water, establishing a church in Nairobi and sponsoring students as they pursue their college and upper graduated education, all aboard from our own North America. On the home front, ORB has established literacy centers in targeted cities in the United States, provided scholarships for deserving students, sponsored job fairs for the unemployed, offered community fire workshops helping future first responders achieve their dreams in becoming firefighters, and partnering with a local television station to provide health screening and numerous community projects and activities all of which strengthen and solidify the community.



Chief Jerry Austin Sr. Ret.


Hello everyone, my name is Jerry D. Austin Sr. retired Fire Chief. I am the Executive Director and would like to share my bio with you. I retired as Director of Fire Technology at Mt. San Antonio College and Fire Academy Chief in 2011. Before this full time assignment, I served the citizens of Anaheim and the Anaheim Fire Department for 30 years and retired as Division Chief Fire Marshal.

I began my college education as a fire technology student in 1972, at Santa Ana College. As an athlete and graduate, my goal was to become a firefighter. On September 30, 1974, I was hired as the first African American on the Anaheim Fire Department as a firefighter. Over the next 30 years with the department, I promoted up through the ranks holding position titles that included; Firefighter, Inspector, Arson Investigator, State Certified Instructor, Public Fire Education Specialist, Engineer, Captain, Planning and Research Officer, Safety Officer, Services Officer, Hazardous Material Specialist, Battalion Chief, Administrative Division Chief, and Division Chief Fire Marshal.

My education includes degrees and certifications from some of the Nations finest Institutions; such as an AA degree in Fire Technology from Santa Ana College, National Fire Academy graduate in Public Fire Education, Bachelors of Vocational Education from Long Beach State, Graduate School of Business Columbia University, Leading and Managing People, and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Chapman University.

During my fire service career, I accomplished many projects and received numerous awards for my community involvement and creativeness. Four that I am most proud of are:

  1. Developing and implementing the Heart Smart CPR Program for Anaheim City Employees.
  2. Being inducted into Santa Ana College “Hall of Fame” as a distinguished graduate.
  3. Receiving the Orange County Fire Chief’s Monsignor John Sammon Award for my Community Service.
  4. Caroling for Cans Food and Toy Drive in the City of Anaheim for 20 plus years. During that time, over 10 tons of food and toys were collected and distributed to Orange County residents.

Presently I serve as Vice President of Operation ReachBack, L. A. Chapter and National Board member chairman of Marketing and Membership. In addition I am a member of Arlington Rotary Club in La Sierra CA.


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