Finally, after a prolonged ordeal, Cambrians and their Cambria Fire Department have learned that their new fire chief will be someone they’ve known well for a long time: Fire Capt. William Hollingsworth.
Hollingsworth has been with the department since 1991, and a fire captain there since 2005. He also worked for a decade for the Cambria Community Healthcare District, first as an emergency medical technician and later as a paramedic and shift supervisor.
The department is part of the Cambria Community Services District. Since the July departure of the former chief, Mark Miller, the department has been managed by Cal Fire, but the process of determining the future of the department has included two county grand jury reports on emergency services in the area and an ad hoc committee investigating the best way to provide fire-related services to the community.
There was substantial community support for maintaining Cambria Fire as an independent department, rather than having it affiliated with and managed by Cal Fire.
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CCSD General Manager Jerry Gruber announced Tuesday, April 26, that, following a 2 1/2-hour interview with Hollingsworth the day before by him, board President Gail Robinette, Director Mike Thompson and Cal Fire Battalion Chief Eric Shalhoob, Gruber had asked Hollingsworth to be the new fire chief, and Hollingsworth accepted.
Gruber said Hollingsworth had submitted a “fantastic” application packet and “did an incredible job during the interview process.”
The two men will work “over the next week or so to finalize his contract,” Gruber said.
The department’s newest fire captain, Emily Torlano, emailed Hollingsworth and others to say that she and her co-workers “are ecstatic, and looking forward to a smooth transition.”
CCSD Director Greg Sanders emailed Gruber that, “from my vantage point, you could not have made a better choice. I have known William Hollingsworth for a long time. He is a very good man on duty and off.”
Hollingsworth said Tuesday that he’s excited and “very happy” about his new job.
The Cambrian soon will do a “meet your fire chief” profile of Hollingsworth.