City of Yakima Names New Yakima Fire Chief - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

City of Yakima Names New Yakima Fire Chief

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A 20-year veteran of the Yakima Fire Department has been named the department's next fire chief. A 20-year veteran of the Yakima Fire Department has been named the department's next fire chief.
YAKIMA, WA - A 20-year veteran of the Yakima Fire Department has been named the department's next fire chief.

Since January, Bob Stewart has served as interim chief following the retirement of Dave Willson. After evaluating his performance over the past five months, City Manager Tony O'Rourke has decided Stewart will be the next chief.

Stewart will be officially sworn in at the June 17th Yakima City Council business meeting.

“Bob has been successful in taking on the additional responsibilities and challenges that come with leading Central Washington’s largest fire department,” said O’Rourke. “He has proven to be an outstanding leader, administrator, and motivator since becoming acting fire chief. I’m convinced that Bob is the right person to guide the department through the next stage of its evolution and to build on the success that he has already achieved,” O’Rourke said.

Stewart was first hired as a YFD firefighter in 1988 while he was serving as a cadet captain for Marion County (Oregon) Fire District #1 and studying Fire Science at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Oregon. Prior to college, Stewart served three years in the U.S. Navy as an airman and flight deck firefighter.

Six years after being hired, Stewart was promoted to lieutenant. He became a shift captain in 2001 and was also named training captain later that year. Over the next four years, Stewart worked in an acting capacity as both a deputy chief and battalion chief while primarily serving as a line captain. In July 2007, he was promoted to deputy chief.

“I’m honored to have been given the opportunity to take the Yakima Fire Department to the next level,” Stewart said. “I’m looking forward to working together with our outstanding professional staff to continue to improve the department and to deliver the top quality services that our department is known for,”  he said.
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