Seattle fire chief to retire after 44 years with department

SEATTLE -- Seattle Fire Department Chief Gregory M. Dean will retire from his post at the end of the year, city officials announced Thursday.

Dean, a 44-year-veteran of the department, told Mayor Ed Murray earlier this year that he planned to retire. Though the mayor asked him to postpone his departure, Dean told Murray last week "it was time to enjoy a well-deserved retirement," city officials said.

Dean has served as chief since 2004.

Murray said he is sad to see Dean go.

“Chief Dean demonstrated the highest commitment to public service over a distinguished career here at the City,” said Murray. “We salute his devotion to the department and to his firefighters. I wish him the best in the future, even as I know I will miss his steady leadership and wise counsel.”

The city is now in the process of trying to hire a new chief, city officials said.

Dean entered the Department in 1970 as a trainee firefighter and rose through the ranks to become Chief of the Department in 2004. He served in several senior leadership positions in the department, including Fire Marshal, Assistant Chief of Administration, Deputy Chief of Personnel, and Deputy Chief of Support Services.

Under his leadership, the 1,150 member department has maintained its international reputation for emergency medicine and firefighting operations, officials said.

Dean will miss the hustle and bustle of the department, he said, but will enjoy his retirement.

“I consider it an honor and privilege to have served as the Fire Chief for the Seattle Fire Department,” said Dean. “I leave with confidence that the department is in good hands with outstanding leadership and vision at all levels of the organization.”