Yakima City Manager Cliff Moore has announced he has appointed current Yakima Deputy Fire Chief Aaron Markham to serve as Yakima’s next fire chief. Markham will officially begin his tenure as Yakima Fire Chief on Friday, June 1st.
“Aaron has many years of experience in the fire service in a variety of roles,” said Moore. “During the intensive interview process, he distinguished himself with his comprehensive understanding and appreciation of administering a fire department and the complexities of providing a wide range of emergency response capabilities. I’m confident our community will be well served by Aaron as Yakima Fire Chief,” said Moore.
Markham, who was born in Toppenish and raised in Yakima, succeeds Bob Stewart who retired in
February. Markham joined the Sunnyside Fire Department in 1991 as a firefighter/EMT. In 2001, he was promoted to battalion chief/fire marshal for the Sunnyside Fire Department. Markham served as interim fire chief for the Sunnyside Fire Department in 2004 before being given the permanent fire chief job in 2005. In March of this year, Markham was hired as a deputy fire chief for the Yakima Fire Department.
Markham earned a bachelor’s degree in fire service administration from Eastern Oregon University and in 2017 earned Executive Fire Officer Certification from the National Fire Academy. He has served as president of the Yakima County Fire Chief’s Association and currently is a board member of the Washington State Fire Chief’s Association.
As Yakima Fire Chief, Markham will oversee a department with 137 total staff members. The department’s 2018 budget is about $19 million.
Markham was chosen from a finalist pool that also included current Indian River State College (Fort Pierce, Florida) Adjunct EMS Instructor Daniel Harshburger, current Kittitas Valley Fire and Rescue Deputy Fire Chief Richard Elliot, and current Yakima Deputy Fire Chief Patrick Reid.