Yakima closer to filling fire chief position

Yakima closer to filling fire chief position

YAKIMA, Wash. - The city of Yakima has been without a fire chief for almost three months now, but the city is working quickly to fill the position and narrowed it down to four finalists.

Yakima City Manager Cliff Moore announced the four finalists for Yakima Fire Chief last week.

The position has been vacant ever since former Chief Bob Stewart retired in February of this year.

Tuesday afternoon the community got the chance to meet the four finalists.

Two of the candidates, Patrick Reid and Aaron Markham are current deputy fire chiefs with the Yakima Fire Department (YFD).

Markham served as a firefighter in Sunnyside since 1991, until he joined the YFD in March of this year. He said he was not expecting to advance so quickly but because the opportunity was there so he said he had to take it.

Reid began firefighting in 1990 in Virginia and went to Utah, California and then Yakima in 2017. He said he is looking forward to the opportunity to mentor future leaders in our community.

"Take an organization that I love being a part of and our previous chief took us to one level and set a bar and I would like to take that bar to the next level," Reid said. "Improve our organization and continue to make an organization that the community and residents are proud of."

Richard Elliot is the Rescue Deputy Fire Chief for Kittitas Valley Fire and started his career as a firefighter in 1987 in King County. He said he respects the department and would love the opportunity to work with them.

"If I'm selected and if I'm the best candidate, I would hope to provide some long-term leadership to Yakima," Elliot said.

Daniel Harshburger has been working in fire service since 1994 and is currently an EMS instructor at Indian River State College in Florida. He said if selected he would want to evaluate the department and work with the city and the community before making any changes.

All four candidates went through interviews Tuesday afternoon and Moore said he hopes to select a new chief within the next few weeks.

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