Fire Chief Steve Smith begins 12 months as head of Woodinville's fire district.
Photo by David Leggett.
by Jeff Switzer
WOODINVILLE--As of Sept. 16, Steve Smith begins his 12-month term as the fire chief for the Woodinville Fire and Life Safety district, building on his eight years as deputy fire chief here.
Smith, 47, spent 21 of his 29 years in Fire District 40 in Renton, working his way up as a volunteer firefighter from 1967 to 1970, volunteer lieutenant from 1970 to 1977, and volunteer captain from 1977 to 1980.
He began his career as a paid firefighter in January 1978, working for three years in that capacity. He became a shift lieutenant in April 1981 until March 1986.
For six months in 1987, he was the acting fire chief in Renton. He came to Woodinville in 1988.
"This is something I've been working towards in my career for some time," said Smith. "I wish it had come about in a different way, but I'm glad I didn't have to leave Woodinville to make this happen."
Smith spoke highly of the department and its accomplishments.
"It's a fantastic department with good and dedicated people," Smith said, noting that many in the department have stepped forward and given their backing. "It makes taking this position easier with all of the support."
Fire Commissioner Ben May said Smith has the full support of the board of fire commissioners.
"Steve Smith is respected, admired, and supported by every single firefighter in the district," May said. "He is an able leader, very, very good at gaining consensus; he's firm, but he's kind. He's already hit the ground running."
May added that the fire district is very healthy and with Smith at the helm, "the standards of service will be as good if not better than they always have been."