[UPDATED] In a statement released on Monday, the city announced that Interim Fire Chief Bryan Frieders will retire at the end of November.
“This is a difficult decision for me, but the right one for the department and my family,” said Frieders. “I have been so fortunate to work with such a passionate, high-performing group of men and women who have an incredible sense of pride and professionalism, each of whom put their heart and soul into every call to treat the community as their own family.”
Frieders plans to spend more time with his wife and their three young children.
Frieders has led the department since February when then-Fire Chief Bertral Washington was moved to the City Manager’s Office. Washington announced his retirement in late May.
“Bryan assumed the interim fire chief position during a worldwide pandemic, global civil unrest, and devastating wildfires, and his leadership, professionalism, and teamwork is a testament to the commitment and dedication of the entire Fire Department during the most challenging times in their careers,” City Manager Steve Mermell said in a prepared statement.
“We will begin nationwide recruitment for fire chief and Bryan will be an integral part of that process,” Mermell said.
Frieders joined the Pasadena Fire Department as deputy chief in 2016 after making his way through the ranks in the San Gabriel Fire Department. He began his career in 1990 as an emergency medical technician (EMT) in Glendale. Throughout his career, Frieders has served in a variety of areas, including training, emergency medical services, fire prevention, and emergency management.
He also serves as the president of the Firefighter Cancer Support Network where he is a well-respected speaker on the topics of firefighter health and safety, leadership, and cancer risk reduction.
Frieders holds a master’s degree in public administration, a bachelor’s degree in vocational education, and an associate’s degree in fire technology. He has also been designated as a Fire Chief Officer by the Center for Public Safety Excellence.
The city has already started a recruitment process to find its next fire chief. The public is encouraged to provide input about the most important qualities that potential candidates should have by completing a brief survey online:
City Manager Steve Mermell said public participation in that process is crucial.
“Public input is crucial to selecting the best individual to lead the Department. I encourage all community stakeholders to share their thoughts on the characteristics and professional background they feel are most important when selecting a new chief,” Mermall said.
Applications for the position are being accepted now with an anticipated timeframe for screenings and interviews taking place in November. The rigorous interview process will include a community panel in addition to industry professionals and municipal agency administrators.
Pasadena combines world class events, science and technology, arts and culture, history and architecture with great neighborhoods and opportunities for all. The City is dedicated to delivering exemplary municipal services responsive to our entire community and consistent with our history, culture and unique character.