Yakima City Manager Cliff Moore has announced the names of the four finalists for the Yakima Fire Chief position, which has been vacant since the retirement of former chief Bob Stewart earlier this year.
The finalist pool includes current Indian River State College (Fort Pierce, Florida) Adjunct EMS Instructor Daniel Harshburger, current Kittitas Valley Fire and Rescue Deputy Fire Chief Richard Elliot, current Yakima Deputy Fire Chief Patrick Reid, and current Yakima Deputy Fire Chief Aaron Markham.
The four finalists are scheduled to be in Yakima on Tuesday, May 15th for a round of interviews during the day and a community reception later that afternoon. The community reception will take place in the Council Chambers at Yakima City Hall (129 N. 2nd Street) from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm and will be open to anyone wanting to meet the finalists.
Harshburger began his career in the fire service in 1994 as a firefighter/paramedic for DeSoto County Fire Rescue in Arcadia, Florida. He served as a firefighter and/or paramedic for other fire departments, including Hardee County Fire Rescue in Wauchula, Florida. He was promoted to deputy fire chief for Hardee County Fire Rescue in 2003 and served in that capacity until he was hired as the bureau chief of rescue for Martin County Fire Rescue (Stuart, Florida) in 2010. In 2017, Harshburger became the Martin County Fire Rescue chief of compliance and professional standards in 2017, a position he held until February of this year.
Elliot started his fire service career in 1987 as a firefighter/shift captain for the City of SeaTac/King County Fire District #24 department. In 1996, he was hired as captain/fire chief by the Ellensburg Fire Department. Elliot became deputy fire chief of Kittitas Valley Fire and Rescue in 2007 and continues to serve in that capacity. Additionally, Elliot served as a hospital corpsman in the U.S. Navy from 1996 to 2004 and was stationed at Fort Lewis.
Reid’s resume includes time as fire chief of Fort Belvoir Fire and Emergency Services in Fort Belvoir, Virginia from 1990 to 2012. From 2012 to 2015, he served as the response and recovery bureau chief for the Utah Division of Emergency Management in Salt Lake City, Utah. In 2015, Reid was hired as division chief of training for the Fort Irwin Fire Department (Fort Irwin, California). In October 2017, Reid became a deputy fire chief for the Yakima Fire Department.
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.
The Yakima Fire Chief oversees a department with 137 total staff members. The department’s 2018 budget is about $19 million.
Moore expects to announce his selection for Yakima Fire Chief within the next few weeks.