Glendale Fire Chief Harold Scoggins has accepted the top post at the Seattle Fire Department and will be stepping down next month, officials announced Wednesday.
A 25-year veteran of the department, Scoggins began his career in fire service as a volunteer firefighter for the U.S. Air Force in 1984. He joined the Glendale Fire Department in 1989 as a firefighter and rose through the ranks, first being promoted to fire engineer in 1996.
Two years later, he became a fire captain and, in 2003, battalion chief, during which time he managed the department's safety and training programs.
Scoggins was promoted to deputy fire chief in 2007 and was selected to serve as fire chief the following year.
“The lasting legacy of Harold Scoggins as fire chief will be his collaboration with all facets of the department to seek innovation proactively to raise as much productivity out of the department out of existing resources as absolutely possible,” said City Manager Scott Ochoa, pointing to a program that expanded advanced life-support coverage throughout the city.
While in Glendale, Scoggins was involved in a number of community organizations, including the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life, American Red Cross, Glendale Youth Alliance, Salvation Army, Dignity Health Glendale Memorial Hospital, Glendale Adventist Medical Center and the Rotary Club.
Once a month, he volunteered as the “guest chef” at Ascencia, making breakfast for the homeless families and adults in the shelter.
“Every decision I make, I base it on putting our community first,” Scoggins said in a statement. He could not immediately be reached for comment.
In Seattle, Scoggins will be overseeing a department with more than 1,100 employees who serve 640,000 residents and respond to more than 88,000 alarms annually, according to a Seattle news release. The department has an annual budget of $178 million.
The agency currently has 80 vacancies, and Scoggins will be given the task of recruiting a diverse work force of firefighters and implementing proper succession planning, according to the document.
The Seattle mayor reportedly urged him to continue the agency’s focus on recruiting qualified women, who make up 8% of the city’s firefighters.
Scoggins, who will remain in Glendale through March, will take the helm of the Seattle agency on April 1 at an annual salary of $205,000.
Deputy Chief Greg Fish will serve as the interim Glendale fire chief until city officials select a permanent replacement, a process that could take up to four months, Ochoa said.