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Longtime Atascadero fire chief to retire

Atascadero Fire Chief Kurt Stone, who has been with the department since 1984, announced he will retire in June.
Atascadero Fire Chief Kurt Stone, who has been with the department since 1984, announced he will retire in June.

Atascadero’s longtime fire chief will retire in June, the city announced Monday.

Kurt Stone, 52, has led the department for nearly 15 years. His last day on the job will be June 24, according to a city news release.

Stone, an Atascadero High School and Cal Poly graduate and resident of the city since 1971, joined the Fire Department as a seasonal firefighter in 1984. He worked his way up the ranks, becoming a firefighter and emergency medical technician, captain and battalion chief before being appointed as fire chief in 2001.

Throughout his career, Stone has received awards and recognitions including 2007 Firefighter of the Year, life member of the Golden Key National Honor Society, and Training Officer of the Year in 1998. He has served on numerous fire service committees and helped to develop a countywide strategic plan for the San Luis Obispo County Fire Chiefs Association in 2006.

He is also San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties’ area director for the California Fire Chiefs Association.

During his tenure with the city, Stone developed a new city Emergency Plan, led the city through FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute Training in 2009 and was a key player in the development of the Atascadero Wine Festival, according to the city.

In a prepared statement, Stone praised his longtime department and staff, which he said is among the best in the nation.

Atascadero Deputy City Manager Terri Banish said the city will advertise for the chief position but that details about hiring Stone’s successor had not been decided as of Monday.

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