Joe Kerr is a second-generation professional firefighter who served with the Orange County Fire Authority and Orange County Fire Department for over 34 years, including 27 years as a fire captain. He was the first President of the Orange County Professional Firefighters Association, the former Vice President of the California Professional Firefighters, as well as a former Vice President of the Orange County Central Labor Council (AFL-CIO).
Joe was named Fireman of the Year by the Cypress Fire Department in 1979, Overachiever of the Year by the Orange County Firemen’s Association in 1984, and Fire Captain of the Year by the Orange County Fire Department in 1986. In 1981, he was given a Certificate of Merit from the Orange County Board of Supervisors for his role in responding to the Air California jetliner crash at John Wayne Airport. He was also presented with the Courage Under Fire Award in 1999 for rescuing and reviving a non-breathing occupant who was trapped in a residential structure fire. After retiring in 2012, Joe received numerous awards and recognitions for helping to save the life of a baby who was drowning and had stopped breathing in a swimming pool.
Joe’s history of community service includes having served as an advisor to the Board of the Orange County Foundation for Oncology, Children and Families (OCF-OCF).
Joe grew up in Orange County. He and his wife, China, are the proud parents of a 17-year-old son.