City Manager Names Mike DuRee New LBFD Chief

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Fire Chief Mike DuRee

Mike DuRee, an 18-year veteran of the Long Beach Fire Department, will serve as the next Chief. (Photo by Cheri Kinley Photography)

City Manager Patrick West has named Mike DuRee, an 18-year veteran of the Long Beach Fire Department, as the City’s next Fire Chief.

“Mike DuRee has extensive experience in the fire service, and an unmatched history in the Long Beach Fire Department,” said Patrick H. West, City Manager. “He is an exceptionally capable leader, and will serve the City and the Fire Department well as we confront the challenges of the future.”

Mike DuRee is currently the Interim Deputy Chief responsible for the Fire Prevention Bureau. He began his career with the Long Beach Fire Department in 1994, and has held a variety of positions, including Firefighter, Paramedic/Fire Fighter, Captain, Battalion Chief and Assistant Chief. Chief DuRee is a fifth generation City of Long Beach employee and a fourth generation firefighter in Long Beach. 

Chief DuRee’s operational experience includes serving with distinction as a Chief Officer, incident commander, company officer, paramedic and public information officer. Chief DuRee also served as a Captain with the Marine Safety Division rescue boat program and public safety dive team member, giving him extensive knowledge of the maritime environment.

“After competing with leaders in the Fire Service in a nationwide search, I am proud and humbled by the opportunity to lead such a fine organization,” said Chief Mike DuRee. “My family and I have deep ties to the City of Long Beach and the Long Beach Fire Department. The men and women of the Long Beach Fire Department are second to none in their level of professionalism and dedication to our community, and as the Fire Chief, I am committed to continuing the great level of service our Department provides the residents, businesses and visitors of Long Beach. We have a proud 115-year history of service in this City. I look forward to leading the organization as we continue our tradition of excellent service and move into the next chapter of the Long Beach Fire Department.”

The City conducted an intensive national recruitment to identify the next Fire Chief.

Three internal and three external candidates, all of whom were extraordinarily well qualified, were ultimately considered for the position. Those six candidates were interviewed by a diverse community stakeholder panel and a technical panel, including two fire chiefs and a former city manager from a neighboring city. Three finalists were subsequently interviewed by a panel consisting of various City department directors and a panel of executive management. The panels agreed that Mike DuRee would serve the City admirably as the next Fire Chief of the Long Beach Fire Department.

Chief DuRee and his family have made Long Beach their home for their entire lives. Born and raised in Long Beach, Chief DuRee has taken an active role in numerous community groups and local non-profit organizations that seek to improve the quality of life in Long Beach for all residents. He holds a bachelors degree in Public Administration and is currently a candidate for his Masters degree in Public Administration with an emphasis on communication and public relations. Chief DuRee is also a graduate of Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government executive fellowship program for senior executives in State and Local government.

Chief DuRee will replace Deputy Chief Mike Sarjeant, who has served as Interim Fire Chief for the Long Beach Fire Department since Fire Chief Alan Patalano retired in March 2012.

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