Three months after beginning his tenure, Pasadena’s new fire chief, Chad Augustin, was officially sworn in during ceremonies at City Hall on Thursday afternoon.
“I’m so excited to be here today,” Augustin said before the event. “Really this day is not about me, but about the Pasadena Fire Department and the community, and the direction that we’re going, into the future.”
The packed ceremonies in the City Hall Rotunda were attended by representatives of the Mayor’s office, as well as the various City Council offices. In addition, numerous members of the Sacramento Fire Department, where Augustin most recently served, drove down for the event.
Pasadena City Manager Steve Mermell jokingly credited his wife for helping him select the new chief.
“Chad and I spoke on the phone for about half an hour,” recalled Mermell, “and when it was over, my wife said, ‘Boy, you two really clicked.’ So he has her to thank.”
Augustin’s wife, Sandra, was at his side for the event and pinned his badge on him after the swearing in officiated by City Clerk Mark Jomsky.
Augustin had served as deputy fire chief for Sacramento since 2015, and worked thirty years for the agency, eventually overseeing 650 employees, daily operations of 24 fire stations, and an annual budget of $100 million.
The new chief follows former Fire Chief Bertral Washington. Washington served as Pasadena Fire Chief for more than five years before resigning last April two months after he was reassigned to the City Manager’s office in February.
Despite queries from the NAACP and the City Council, City Manager Steve Mermell, citing state laws which prohibit the release of personnel files, has not publicly stated the reasons for the reassignment.
Asked what Pasadenans may expect from his leadership, Augustin responded, “Unwavering service to the community and lots of community partnerships, because we are working for new and innovative ways to better deliver excellent service to the community.”