Dave Willson, who has been Yakima’s fire chief for the last two-and-a-half years, has decided to retire in the first week of January.
“It’s time,” said Willson. “Our kids are grown and my health is good. I have the opportunity to begin another chapter and I’m ready to take advantage of it.”
Willson, who started his firefighting career in 1975, joined the Yakima Fire Department in January of 1984. He had previously worked in the fire service in both Pierce County and
Bellevue.

“The Yakima Fire Department has gone through a lot of positive changes over the last few
years,” said Willson. “Key investments have been made to modernize the department and to make it as effective as possible. I’m proud of how far the department has come and I leave it feeling confident that the Yakima Fire Department has a very bright future,” said Willson.

Given what he describes as a “deep talent pool” within the Yakima Fire Department, Yakima City Manager Tony O’Rourke is currently focusing on identifying an internal candidate to fill the fire chief position once Willson retires.