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City Starts Recruitment Process For New Fire Chief

Website survey seeks feedback on next department head

Published on Monday, October 12, 2020 | 3:00 am

The city is seeking input from local residents in its search for a new fire chief.

“The city has initiated recruitment for a new Fire Chief,” according to a notice on the city’s website. “The City Manager is interested in obtaining feedback from the community to guide our recruitment and selection strategies.”

The five-question survey queries residents on the top three leadership qualities and characteristics that are most important for Pasadena to look for in a new chief. Another issue is learning the top three priorities local residents would like the new chief to address during the first year on the job. A third is the information candidates should know about the Pasadena community, and asks what additional things the city should consider in recruiting a new chief. The final question asks respondents if they are residents of Pasadena.

The Los Angeles-based firm Teri Black & Company will conduct the search. 

It was not immediately known if the city will continue its recent trend of hiring from within city ranks.

Pasadena Police Chief John Perez and City Manager Steve Mermell were promoted to their current positions, breaking a long trend of the city going outside City Hall to fill top spots. 

Bryan Frieders has served as interim chief since former Fire Chief Bertral Washington was moved to the City Manager’s office in February. 

Interim Pasadena Fire Chief Bryan Frieders

The Pasadena Firefighters Association announced its support for Frieders after he was named to the position.

“We are confident in Chief Frieders’ leadership and his ability to carry out the Fire Department’s Mission,” Sean Timoney, president of Pasadena Firefighters Association, Local 809, said in February. “The community is in good hands and Pasadena Firefighters Local 809 looks forward to our continued collaboration during Chief Frieders’ time as Acting Fire Chief.”

Frieders was named Deputy Fire Chief in 2016. He has served for various fire departments across California since 1998, when he started as a firefighter and paramedic for South San Francisco. Frieders was also battalion chief for the San Gabriel Fire Department.

Pasadena is one of just 14 cities in California designated as a Class 1 city by the Insurance Service Office (ISO), the highest possible rating for a municipality. Class 1 represents exemplary fire protection.

A Class 1 designation can also help the city acquire lower insurance premiums for local residents and businesses with some insurance carriers. 

Only 132 cities in the country have been designated as Class 1 from ISO.

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