Interim Yakima Fire Chief Bob Stewart can remove the "interim" from his title. Today Yakima City Manager Tony O'Rourke announced that Stewart will be the permanent chief.

 Stewart stepped into the role following the retirement of Dave Willson. After evaluating Stewart's performance over the past five months and being impressed with what he saw, O'Rourke made the decision.

Stewart says he'll bring consistency to the department. "I do have a number of years here with the department, and I think the biggest advantage I have is knowing the work force because it's ultimately not fire engines or facilities, it's the people that make the job. I have an intimate knowledge of those folks."

O'Rourke announced the decision in a Monday news release, saying Stewart “has proven to be an outstanding leader, administrator and motivator since becoming acting fire chief. I’m convinced that Bob is the right person to guide the department through the next stage of its evolution and to build on the success that he has already achieved.”

Stewart has spent his entire professional career with  the Yakima Fire Department  He started as a firefighter in 1988.

He will be officially sworn in as chief at the Yakima City Council's business meeting next
Tuesday.