YAKIMA, Wash. – Dave Willson was appointed Interim Fire Chief for the Yakima Fire Department Tuesday by City Manager Dick Zais.
"My view is to maybe set things up for the future and just survive," Willson told KNDO. "Try to keep what we've got going and provide the best service we can."
Willson is one of the department's deputy chiefs and has been with YFD for 26 years. He'll replace outgoing chief Charlie Hines on Dec. 1.
"Dave's leadership will be key as the department transitions," said Zais in a statement. "I'm very pleased that we have been able to draw from within the department's own ranks to find an Interim Chief."
Layoffs of firefighters and office staff are in the current proposal for the 2011 budget before the city council. Willson hopes grants as well as support from regional fire agencies will help YFD make up for lost funds.
The department's 2010 budget was a little more than $9 million and includes 87 firefighters on staff.