Nationwide search begins for fire chief candidates

Deadline to apply for position is March 31

Brian Coddington, Communications Director, 625.6740

Friday, March 3, 2017 at 12:22 p.m.

The City of Spokane has begun a nationwide search for candidates to be its next fire chief.

Candidates to lead the 323-member department must submit their application materials by March 31. The full posting for the position, which pays $145,846 to $179,192, is available in the career center at

A panel comprised of community members, medical services representatives and city employees will review and select qualified candidates from the applicants. Up to five candidates will be recommended to the City for on-site panel interviews in early May. The new chief is expected to start by late June.

The new chief will inherit a department that has used many recent innovative approaches to better meet the changing needs of the citizens it serves. Closer coordination and integration of services provided by first responders, emergency rooms and social services has been among the advancements that are improving care and saving money. An extension of that model, which has received national attention, sends smaller vehicles to non-life-threatening calls. The ARU program, as it is known, kept larger trucks off of thousands of calls last year and available to respond to more pressing emergencies and has expanded to 24-hour operation across the city.

Medical-related calls represent the greatest percentage of calls for service, and non-emergency medical calls, which were up about 10 percent last year, are the fastest growing call volume.

A public safety capital replacement program last year delivered the first of the new fire trucks to replace older equipment. The program provides a consistent funding source to keep equipment and vehicles current and available to assist citizens when they need help most.

The Spokane Fire Department, which was established in 1884, covers approximately 69.5 square miles from 16 fire stations.

The fire chief position requires a bachelor’s degree in fire protection or a related area, such as business or public administration, and a master’s degree is preferred. The chosen candidate must have 10 to 20 years of progressive fire protection and emergency management experience with at least five years at an administrative or comparable level.