Richard Gallagher, who previously worked for the Culver City and Warner Brothers Studios fire departments, has taken over as interim battalion chief for the Paso Robles Fire Department while the city continues to search for someone to fill the job permanently, said Meg Williamson, assistant city manager.
“He’s going to really be helping out in more of a fire marshal, administrative role,” she said.
The job was to offered to Chris Staley, a retired San Luis Obispo City Fire Department battalion chief, but he declined after learning it was to be an administrative role instead of an operational one, Williamson said.
The city is retaining interim fire and battalion chiefs while staff searches for successors for Ken Johnson, who retired as fire chief in March, and Keith Aggson, who left in December to become a deputy fire chief in San Luis Obispo.
Philip Garcia, who also used to work for Culver City, is serving as interim fire chief.
Gallagher said he retired from his fire marshal position in Culver City in 2010 and worked as a fire chief for Warner Bros. until 2015. He taught for the El Camino Fire Academy in Inglewood before assuming the interim battalion chief role in Paso Robles.
Gallagher is contracted to work for the city through October, according to Williamson.
“We’re just thankful we have someone as experienced as (him),” Williamson said of Gallagher.