Interim fire chiefs will serve in rotation

Asst. Chief Tod Gates (far left) and Asst. Chief Greg Macke (far right). Outgoing chief Gary Olson is second from the left.

Two new interim fire chiefs have been named after Chief Gary Olson announced his retirement at the end of this month.

Mayor Don Gough appointed two assistant chiefs to serve in rotation for the next 18 months. Greg Macke will serve from Nov. 1, 2011 – July 31, 2012, and Tod Gates will be interim chief from Aug. 1, 2012 – March 31, 2013.

“I’ve listened intently, and I’m appreciative of the positive attitudes of people rallying together not only to meet the internal and external challenges we have, but in keeping quality fire safety services provided to our community by the efficient and effective day-to-day operations of our department,” he wrote in a memo. “Based upon that, I am confident that all parts of our Fire Department will support the interim Fire Chief rotation.”

A decision will be made in early 2013 whether to hire an internal candidate or conduct a broader search.

In the meantime, the city is considering joining other jurisdictions to form a regional fire authority in south Snohomish County. It’s hoped consolidating resources would save money and improve service.

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