Doug Sporleder was born in Los Gatos, California and began his career as a firefighter in 1963. Sporleder, along with his brother Steve, are third generation firefighters. Their grandfather Louis Omer Sporleder became a volunteer fire fighter in Los Gatos in 1901 and rose to the level of Assistant Chief. Following in his father's footsteps, Louis Omer, Jr. joined his father in fire fighting in the 1930s, also rising to the rank of Assistant Chief.
Growing up in Los Gatos with a father and grandfather in the department it would seem natural to follow in his family's footsteps, but Doug originally had plans to teach history. He was able to accomplish both roles as he moved from the ranks of firefighter to Captain at the Shannon Station in the Santa Clara County Fire Department. He eventually left Shannon to fulfill his role as teacher as the training Chief. He was then promoted to Assistant Chief, and then to the rank of Fire Chief in 1980.
Doug was also the Santa Clara County Fire Marshal and the Area Fire Coordinator responsible for all fire mutual aid in Santa Clara County. His educational accomplishments include B.A. and A.A. degrees, as well as graduate-level course work in fire department management. Doug was a member of many fire service organizations, including the Governor's Special Arson Task Force and the State of California Fire and Rescue Service/FIRESCOPE Board of Directors.
Doug retired from the Santa Clara County Fire Department in Dec 2001.