South County Fire Assistant Chief Brad Reading is retiring at the end of the month after 41 years in the fire services in south Snohomish County.
The fire department is hosting a retirement reception for Reading on Feb. 28, 4:30-6 p.m. at South County Fire Headquarters, 12425 Meridian Ave. S., Everett. The event is open to all and there will be a time to share stories and wish Chief Reading well as he begins his retirement.
The South County Fire Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution Tuesday commending Reading for his “distinguished years of dedicated service and leadership to the administrative staff, firefighters and paramedics, as well as meeting the public safety needs of South Snohomish County.”
Reading has served with every fire department in south Snohomish County during his career. He started as a volunteer firefighter in 1977 with his hometown Edmonds Fire Department. In 1979, Reading was hired as a full-time firefighter with the Mountlake Terrace Fire Department, where he rose through the ranks to fire chief. When the department consolidated with Snohomish County Fire District 1 in 2001, Reading became deputy chief of operations. He was promoted to assistant chief in 2005 and interim fire chief in 2016.
In 2017, under a blended management agreement with the City of Lynnwood, Reading also served as the interim fire chief of the Lynnwood Fire Department. When Fire District 1 and Lynnwood Fire Department combined to form South County Fire on Oct. 1, Reading returned to his role as assistant fire chief.
Reading played a key role in all fire service consolidations in south Snohomish County. As a fire marshal, Reading led the team of fire investigators on the Paul Keller arsons of the mid-1990s and headed up the investigation into the arson spree that caused nearly $3 million damage to two shopping plazas in the heart of Mountlake Terrace in 1990. As a founding member of the Northwest Washington Incident Management Team, Reading deployed to major regional incidents and served as the initial incident commander at the Oso slide in 2014. In 2015, he was a leader in the implementation of the countywide police and fire dispatch system, New World.