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Corona Hires Arizona Man as Fire Chief

Times Staff Writer

The fire chief of Prescott, Ariz., will move to Corona this summer to replace retired Chief Harvey G. Simpson, city officials announced Tuesday.

Robert L. McNabb, 46, has been Prescott’s fire chief since 1981, although most of his firefighting experience has been in Southern California.

He previously served for three years as fire services coordinator of San Diego County, where he was promoted from deputy fire marshal. And for 12 years McNabb was a member of the West Covina Fire Department, working his way through the ranks from firefighter to acting captain.

McNabb, after finishing first among eight candidates who tested for the job last month, was the first choice of city officials, said Bob Cruz, deputy personnel director.

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$46,080 Annual Salary

The new chief will earn an annual salary of $46,080, Cruz said. McNabb’s 1984 salary in Prescott, a city of 20,000 about 80 miles north-northwest of Phoenix, was $41,000.

Chief Simpson left active duty in December after 31 years with the Corona department. He began his career as a volunteer firefighter and became Corona’s first permanent, full-time “hoseman” in 1955. The department then consisted of a chief, a captain, three engineers, a fire inspector and 15 volunteers, all working from a single station.

The department he leaves employs 64 firefighters, civilians and apprentices at four stations, protecting a city of 40,000. Simpson served three stints, totaling two years, as acting fire chief between 1964 and 1983, when he was promoted to chief.

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McNabb will assume his post in Corona in June or July, Cruz said.


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