Fire chief announces retirement in March

Chief Bill Newbold retires after 30 years of service

January 24, 2019 - by Vanessa Blackburn, Mayor's Office

Bellingham Fire Chief Bill Newbold has announced his intention to retire from the Bellingham Fire Department effective March 15, 2019.

“It is with excitement and sadness that I am leaving the City and the great people I’ve worked with for the past several years,” Chief Newbold said. “I’m excited because this decision begins my retirement years with my family. It’s also sad because this ends a great relationship in working with the Mayor, City Council, my staff and my colleagues. I will miss serving this great community.”

Chief Newbold has been employed by the City of Bellingham since 2013. He was initially hired as Assistant Chief of Operations following a national recruitment process and was later appointed to Fire Chief in 2014.

Mayor Kelli Linville said she has immensely enjoyed working with Chief Newbold and appreciates his years of service.

“Bill has led his department through many challenges and successes, and he has always been professional throughout his time working with me and with the City,” Mayor Linville said. “He cares deeply about his department and their mission to help people every day, and he will be missed. While I’m disappointed he’s leaving and his shoes will be difficult to fill, I know he’s been planning this for almost a year and I wish him the best in his retirement.”

Chief Newbold’s experience as a firefighter began in the early 1990s. He started as a volunteer firefighter with King County Fire District 44 in 1991, while also working as an aerospace engineer at Boeing. In 1993, Newbold was hired as an entry-level firefighter by the City of Redmond Fire Department and was promoted through the ranks to Deputy Chief of EMS. In that position, Newbold oversaw Redmond Medic One, which served northeast King County (an ALS provider in the King County Medic One system). He completed the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer Program and Harvard University’s State and Local Government Senior Executives Program. He is credentialed as a Chief Fire Officer through the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE).

Mayor Linville said that in March an interim fire chief will be appointed until the City conducts a search for a permanent fire chief. Newbold said he would support the transition in whatever way he can.

“I truly believe the City of Bellingham is a great place to work, and I wish to ensure a smooth transition to my successor,” he said. “I am committed to helping in any way either prior to my retirement or afterward.”


Media Contact

​Vanessa Blackburn, Communications Director
Mayor's Office
(360) 778-8115

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