New Pasco Fire Chief's First Day on the Job - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

New Pasco Fire Chief's First Day on the Job

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PASCO, Wash-- Monday was the first day on the job for the new Chief of the Pasco Fire Department. After a nation wide search, Pasco ended up choosing Bob Gear, a Benton Fire District Chief. 

Gear is a lifetime firefighter dedicated to his job. He is excited for the challenges ahead and likes the new change. He was the Chief of Benton County Fire District 1 for the last 24 years. 

When he walked in the door Monday at the Pasco Fire Station off Oregon Ave he knew he would have a lot of work ahead of him and several new names to memorize.

"The most exciting thing is just the change it's like I'm the new kid, I don't feel like a new kid but I'm kind of like the new kid in a new job," said Gear.

At first Gear didn't apply for the job during the first round of interviews, but the city manager was not satisfied with any of the candidates. In the next round he applied.

"This opportunity to come to work for a city came up and it's in the community that I love, so I don't have to move away from my kids and grandkids," said Gear.

The Chief, who is in his fifties, says this job is a great way to spend the rest of his career.

"The people in Pasco can expect the same great fire department that they've had for years they really do have a really good bunch of firefighters here and paramedics and I think that they can expect the same," said Gear.

With the economic downturn many fire departments will see an increase in ambulance responses.

"People who have lost there insurance tend to wait a little bit longer before they seek health care and frequently that results in a paramedic response verses them going to their primary care giver because they don't have insurance," said Gear.

Besides moving offices, he also has to sell his Kennewick home and move to Pasco. On weekends he and his wife have been enjoying house hunting.