The Paso Robles City Council on Tuesday night approved the hiring of an interim fire chief and a battalion chief to fill recently vacant fire and emergency services positions.
Council members approved a plan to hire Philip Garcia as interim fire chief and Chris Slate as interim battalion chief. Garcia previously served as fire chief in Culver City, Santa Ana and the city of Sonoma. Slate served as a battalion chief for the San Luis Obispo City Fire Department until 2012.
Garcia will follow Chief Ken Johnson, who will retire March 3. Slate will fill the position left vacant by Keith Aggson, who left Paso Robles in December to become a deputy fire chief in San Luis Obispo.
The two will stagger their shifts until the positions can be filled permanently, which City Manager Tom Frutchey said could take up to six months. Three captains will also temporarily serve as acting battalion chiefs to help provide service coverage.