Gilbert narrows search for fire chief to five finalists

The Gilbert Fire & Rescue Department has five finalists for its open chief position. (Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Journal)

The nationwide search for a new chief for the Gilbert Fire and Rescue Service has been limited to finalists, including a current member of the service, city officials announced May 11.

Gilbert’s Deputy Chief Rob Duggan is one of five finalists, a group that also includes two other Valley Fire Department employees and two from outside Arizona.

The other two local finalists are Assistant Chef Chandler Val Gale and Executive Assistant Chef Phoenix Scott Walker.

The others are Michael Contreras, Orange County, Calif., fire division chief, and Raymond Hill, Fort Worth, Texas, deputy chief.

The selected candidate will replace Jim Jobusch, who is retiring as leader of Gilbert in July after nine years in the role.

According to the city, finalists will undergo a three-day interview process later this month that will include a tour of the Gilbert community and public safety training center, a meeting with city council, members of the fire department, community responders and Gilbert staff.

The meeting with council will include an informal dinner that will be legally noticeable to the public under Arizona’s open meeting law, city spokeswoman Jennifer Harrison said, though details were not forthcoming. been finalized.

The city also released short biographies of each candidate:

Michel Contreras

While working for the Orange County Fire Authority in Irvine, Calif., Contreras held the rank of firefighter, firefighter/paramedic, fire captain, battalion chief, and division chief. Contreras has received the designation of fire chief from the Center for Public Safety Excellence and is part of the IAFC Fire Service Executive Development Institute.

Rob Dugan

Duggan is a 22 year veteran of the Gilbert Fire and Rescue Service and has over 30 years of public safety experience. He served as Deputy Fire Chief with the Gilbert Fire and Rescue Department for the past seven years, where he oversees the community and support divisions. Duggan recently earned a master’s degree in public administration from Park University-Gilbert and his fire officer’s degree from the National Fire Academy.

Val Gale

Gale has served as a firefighter, engineer, captain, battalion commander, and now Deputy Chief of Operations at Chandler. Gale holds an Associate’s degree in Applied Science in Emergency Response and Operations from Chandler Gilbert Community College, a Bachelor of Science in Commerce from Arizona State University, and a Masters of Administration with a major in in public management with honors from Northern Arizona University.

Raymond Hill

Hill began his career in the fire department in 1994. While in operations, he rose through the ranks to become an engineer, lieutenant, captain, and battalion chief. He was named Deputy Chief in 2016 and Deputy Chief in 2018. Hill is named Deputy Chief of Education and Logistics Services. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas-El Paso, an associate’s degree in applied science in nursing from Tarrant County College, and a master’s degree in management science from the University of Texas. ‘Amberton.

Scott Walker

Walker is a fire service professional with nearly 29 years of experience in the Phoenix Fire Department. He has worked in all ranks of the department, is a member of Arizona Task Force 1 and a member of the department’s incident management team. He served as Battalion Chief, Division Chief, Deputy Chief, Deputy Chief and Deputy Fire Chief. Walker holds a bachelor’s degree in public safety and emergency management from Grand Canyon University, an associate’s degree in fire service, and completed the executive leadership program at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, in California.

About Jefferey G. Cannon

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