Murray names interim fire chief

While the search for a new Seattle Fire Chief continues, Mayor Ed Murray has named former Assistant Chief Michael E. Walsh as Interim Fire Chief. Chief Walsh will be filling the top position on a temporary basis, succeeding Fire Chief Gregory M. Dean who retired in December 2014 after 44 years of service to the City.

Chief Walsh brings over 30 years of fire service experience to the position. Before retiring in January 2014, Chief Walsh served as Assistant Chief of Operations. In this role, he supervised more than 900 firefighters and oversaw the Department’s nearly 85,000 annual emergency responses.

Chief Walsh began his career with the Seattle Fire Department in 1971 and rose through the ranks reaching the positions of Lieutenant, Captain, Battalion Chief, Deputy Chief and finally Assistant Chief. In 2010, Chief Walsh was named Chief of the Year for his dedication and commitment to improving firefighter safety and service delivery to the residents of Seattle.

Chief Walsh’s first day will be Saturday, Dec. 20.

In October, after Chief Dean announced his intentions to retire, Mayor Ed Murray quickly began a nationwide search for a new Fire Chief. Currently the City is in the process of identifying and interviewing candidates for the permanent Fire Chief position.

Chief Walsh will serve as interim Chief until a new Fire Chief is hired in early 2015. He will be paid a salary of $200,000 on an annualized basis.