Bakersfield Fire Department chief announces retirement

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The Bakersfield Fire Department Chief Anthony Galagaza has announced he will retire effective Dec. 3, according to a press release from the department.

“I have had the pleasure of working with the best in the business for 30 years. I will forever be a proud Bakersfield Firefighter. The people within the BFD Family are true professionals who place their heart and soul in this community,” Galagaza said. “They will continue to provide legendary customer service well into the future while under new leadership, because of their deep commitment to this city.”

Chief Galagaza has been with the department for more than 30 years and has served as chief for the last three and a half years. He joined the Bakersfield Fire Department in April of 1990, according to the department. He became fire captain in 2004, battalion chief in 2013 and was appointed to fire chief in July 2018.

Galagaza has served as the southern division director for the California Fire Chiefs Association, vice president for the League of California Cities Fire Chiefs Department and was recently appointed by Congressman Kevin McCarthy for the Medal of Valor Review Board.

Galagaza ran a department that maintained a class 2 rating with the Insurance Services Office, which only 1.5 percent of fire departments in the nation achieve.

“I thank Chief Galagaza for his incredible commitment and leadership during my time with the City of Bakersfield,” said City Manager Christian Clegg. “His experience and expertise leading the Bakersfield Fire Department has been invaluable and will be missed when he leaves. We thank him for his service to the Department and the City of Bakersfield and wish him the very best in retirement.”

The next fire chief will be chosen by City Manager Clegg. Recruitment is now open for qualified internal candidates.

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