Long Beach City Manager Patrick West announced Monday that Mike DuRee, an 18-year veteran of the Long Beach Fire Department, will serve as the city’s next fire chief.
“Mike DuRee has extensive experience in the fire service and an unmatched history in the Long Beach Fire Department,” West said. “He is an exceptionally capable leader and will serve the city and the fire department well as we confront the challenges of the future.”
DuRee is currently the interim deputy chief responsible for the Fire Prevention Bureau. He began his career with the Long Beach Fire Department in 1994 and has held a variety of positions, including firefighter, paramedic/firefighter, captain, battalion chief and assistant chief. DuRee is a fifth-generation City of Long Beach employee and a fourth-generation firefighter in Long Beach. His operational experience includes serving as a chief officer, incident commander, company officer, paramedic and public information officer. He also served as a captain with the Marine Safety Division rescue boat program and public-safety dive team member, giving him extensive knowledge of the maritime environment.
“After competing with leaders in the Fire Service in a nationwide search, I am proud and humbled by the opportunity to lead such a fine organization,” DuRee said. “My family and I have deep ties to the City of Long Beach and the Long Beach Fire Department. The men and women of the Long Beach Fire Department are second to none in their level of professionalism and dedication to our community, and as the fire chief, I am committed to continuing the great level of service our department provides the residents, businesses and visitors of Long Beach. We have a proud 115-year history of service in this city. I look forward to leading the organization as we continue our tradition of excellent service and move into the next chapter of the Long Beach Fire Department.”
According to a press release issued by the City of Long Beach, the City conducted an intensive national recruitment to identify the next fire chief.
Three internal and three external candidates were ultimately considered for the position. Those six candidates were interviewed by a diverse community stakeholder panel and a technical panel, including two fire chiefs and a former city manager from a neighboring city. Three finalists were subsequently interviewed by a panel consisting of various City department directors and a panel of executive management.
DuRee and his family have made Long Beach their home for their entire lives. Born and raised in Long Beach, DuRee has taken an active role in numerous community groups and local nonprofit organizations that seek to improve the quality of life in Long Beach for all residents. He has a bachelor’s degree in public administration and is currently a candidate for his master’s degree in public administration with an emphasis on communication and public relations. DuRee is also a graduate of Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government executive fellowship program for senior executives in state and local government.
DuRee will replace Deputy Chief Mike Sarjeant, who has served as interim fire chief for the Long Beach Fire Department since Fire Chief Alan Patalano retired in March 2012.
Source: City of LB