Administration and Leadership, News

D.C. Mayor Names new Fire Chief

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) – Gregory Dean is the new chief of D.C. Fire and EMS.

Dean is the former fire chief of Seattle, Washington. Mayor Muriel Bowser made the announcement about his new position at a press conference Monday morning, where she said she wanted someone with a strong EMS background.

“The safety and well-being of District residents is my top priority and FEMS is at the frontlines of this effort. Chief Dean is a proven, collaborative leader who led a department with an international reputation for its fire-based EMS performance. I am certain that he will work with our emergency first responders and the community to move the department forward in exciting ways,” said Mayor Bowser.

Dean took the podium, telling the crowd that he was “ready to bring much needed reforms.” He said he would look at more than just response times.

Gregory Dean worked in the Seattle fire department for a total of 44 years. Ten of those years he was its chief.

On Monday, Dean admitted to facing a “unique set of challenges” in D.C. Dean added that the “reality is I need to come in and learn how we do business, not look at how we did it in Seattle.” He told the crowd that he plans on spending the first six months of his new job learning how to do business.

Chief Dean wouldn’t commit to certain shift, but stated that he has experience with 24 hours on and 10-hour shifts.

According to Bowser’s office, “Dean has a proven track record of results. Under his leadership, Seattle and King County, Washington announced in 2014 that its overall cardiac arrest survival rate had reached an all- time high of 62 percent, up from 26 percent in 2002.”

Dean is also member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs’ Terrorism and Homeland Security Committee. He was chair of the Region 6, Homeland Security Administration and Policy Group and was selected for the Center for Homeland Defense and Security’s Master’s Program at the Naval Post Graduate School, according to the mayor’s office.

Bruce Johnson will have updates about this announcement and Dean at 5, 6 and 7 p.m. on WUSA9.

Eugene Jones had been serving as interim fire chief and replaced the embattled chief Kenneth Ellerbe who stepped down in 2014. Bowser says Acting Assistant Fire and Emergency Medical Services Chief Edward R. Mills III will serve as Interim Chief during the transition.