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ABQ Fire Chief Gets Job In Oregon

ABQ Fire Chief Gets Job In Oregon

Fire department in Hillsboro, Oregon, hires Albuquerque fire chief.

Albuquerque’s new mayor will definitely have to find a new fire chief. The city of Hillsboro, Oregon, has just hired Albuquerque Fire Department Chief David Downey.

Hillsboro posted news of Downey’s hiring on its website on Aug. 23. Downey will start his new job on Sept. 25.

Hillsboro is Oregon’s fifth-largest city with a population of 99,340. It is located in the Tualatin Valley, west of the Portland metro area. Here’s the post from Hillsboro’s website:

The City of Hillsboro has selected David Downey to lead the Hillsboro Fire Department as Fire Chief following a national recruitment effort. City Manager Michael Brown announced Downey’s hiring to Hillsboro Fire Department employees this afternoon.

Downey currently serves as the Fire Chief of the Albuquerque Fire Department, leading 700 uniformed personnel at 22 fire stations, while serving a population of more than 557,000 people. He will start his new role in Hillsboro on Monday, September 25.

David is a smart and strategic leader who greatly impressed us with his strong experience dealing with complicated issues in an ever-changing environment,” City Manager Michael Brown said. “Adding his experience and perspective to a Fire Department already rich with leadership will help us remain at the forefront of delivering the very best service and advance in our efficiency and effectiveness. David will be a great addition to our community.”

Downey joins Hillsboro with 24 years of experience working in New Mexico’s largest city. He previously served as the Albuquerque Fire Department’s Deputy Chief of Operations prior to his promotion to Fire Chief in March 2014.

Hillsboro is a dynamic community to serve, and I cannot wait to get started,” Downey said. “I was thoroughly impressed by everybody throughout the selection process, by their professionalism and the City’s commitment to public safety. I want to play a meaningful role in helping the team succeed in new ways, and I am very grateful for that opportunity.”

A graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program, Downey has been designated a Chief Fire Officer by the Center for Public Safety Excellence’s Commission on Professional Credentialing. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Fire Prevention Technology from Cogswell College, and a Bachelor of Science in Zoology/Physiology from California State University, Long Beach. David is also a member of both the National Fire Protection Association and the International Association of Fire Chiefs.

Downey’s selection allows him to work with Deputy Chief Scott Magers, who has served as Interim Fire Chief for the past eight months following former Fire Chief Greg Nelson’s retirement in January.

Scott was instrumental on several large projects, including labor negotiations, the passage of the Local Option Levy, and improving communication throughout the Fire Department – all while maintaining his duties as Deputy Fire Chief of Operations,” Brown said. “We are very grateful to Chief Magers for his excellent leadership.”

The national recruitment and selection process included input from Hillsboro Fire Department employees and other City staff who participated in interviews.

Hillsboro’s Fire Chief commands emergency operations, including responding to major fire alarms and other emergencies. In addition to staff supervision and budget management, the Fire Chief participates in contract negotiations and works to maintain a safe and healthy working environment. The Fire Chief also promotes teamwork and communication by working in collaboration, treating everyone with respect and dignity, and maintaining an open mind to diverse voices and ideas.

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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.

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