The Bakersfield Fire Department officially has a new chief. A promotional ceremony was held Monday for Chief Anthony Galagaza.
Galagaza said this is his dream job. A second generation Bakersfield firefighter, Galagaza is excited and humbled to lead the department.
It was standing room only for the ceremony Monday in the city council chambers. City Manager Alan Tandy spoke briefly before Galagaza addressed the crowd.
Galagaza said he’s ready to lead the department to a shift in organizational culture, improve morale and make the department relevant beyond emergency response alone.
He said, “I’m just excited for the future of this department and just getting things started. New programs to benefit the community as far as safety, fire safety, emergency medical services and also for rescue, just be able to help with prevention and just getting the word out to the public just how to remain safer and how that we’re going to protect them and how to keep them out of harms way.”
Galagaza has been a Bakersfield firefighter for 26 years — most recently serving as a battalion chief since 2013. He has also been a firefighter, engineer and captain. He replaces Chief Doug Greener who retired last month after 30 years with the department and 40 years in fire service.