Spokane Fire Department selects new Deputy Chief

Michele Anderson, Public Safety Communications Manager

Tuesday, July 24, 2018 at 10 a.m.

After an extensive recruitment process, the Spokane Fire Department announces Rex Strickland III has been selected as the department’s new Deputy Fire Chief. Chief Strickland will be the Training Chief, overseeing both recruit and incumbent training, health & safety, and recruitment. He will begin on Monday, July 30.

Chief Strickland is a 29-year veteran of the fire service. Starting as a volunteer firefighter at the age of 16, he said he quickly understood that the fire service was the only career option for him. He was hired by Fairfax County (VA) Fire & Rescue Department in 1992. Fairfax County Fire & Rescue deploys 38 stations with 1,500 members within a population of 1.1 million inside of 400 square miles and almost 80,000 calls for service.

Chief Strickland specialized in Technical Rescue where he served as Technician, Master Technician, Lieutenant, and Captain. He was an Operations Chief for the International Urban, Search, & Rescue (US&R) program. He has deployed to numerous domestic and international disasters to include acts of terror at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi Kenya and The Pentagon; earthquakes twice in Turkey, Taiwan, Haiti, and Japan; and numerous hurricanes to include Katrina and Sandy. In addition to the Special Operations programs, he has held positions in Communications and Training. Chief Strickland has been awarded two silver medals of valor, numerous unit citations and team performance awards, and a career achievement award. He retired after 26-years as a Battalion Fire Chief in Operations.

Chief Strickland teaches internationally to include South Africa, UAE, and across the nation on a variety of topics. He has presented lectures and hands-on training at Fire Department Instructor Conference (FDIC) and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) Fire Rescue International (FRI). He also serves on national committees to include National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and on a UL Advisory Board. While in Fairfax, he served as Chair on the region’s operating manuals Technical Writing Group and the Command Operations committee among others.

Chief Strickland is excited to bring his wife and three kids to Spokane.