After nearly 30 years of service, LB fire chief to retire

Fire Chief retiringLong Beach Fire Department (LBFD) Fire Chief David Ellis announced last week to City Manager Patrick West his impending retirement by the year’s end. Ellis, an almost 30-year veteran of the fire service, is responsible for approximately 550 employees and a budget of more than $90 million.
In 2004, he was named the 15th chief in the 112-year history of the LBFD.
He began his career in the City of Glendale in 1980. In 1982 he “came home” to Long Beach where he was raised, attended local schools and also graduated from California State University, Long Beach.
“I am extremely proud of every member of the Long Beach Fire Department, including firefighters, dispatchers, the Marine Safety Division and the Command Staff. Their hard work and all of their efforts have made Long Beach a safer city, and I am proud to have worked with such a great team,” Ellis said.
Under Chief Ellis’s leadership, the LBFD opened Fire Station 24, Fire Station 6 and the new fire headquarters, and ensured gender-equitable accommodations. Ellis has moved the Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) program into a nationally recognized program, initiated the Basic Life Support Program and Hazardous Materials Program, and instituted a department-wide wellness program. He was also recognized for his outstanding leadership during one of the largest fires in LBFD’s history (in Paradise Gardens in 2007).
Ellis has been recognized by many different organizations for his contributions within the department and throughout the community. One issue that he is passionate about is cancer prevention, early detection, support, and proper treatment. He is a cancer survivor himself, and, by sharing his story, bringing in guest speakers, encouraging early screening for early detection, he has helped members of the LBFD and the community. He has been actively involved with the Boy Scouts and, in 2007, received the Distinguished Citizen Award for “embodying the commitment, dedication, and ideals of the Boy Scouts of America.”
Ellis said he looks forward to spending more time with family and friends and welcomes the challenges ahead.

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