Duggan appointed Tacoma Fire Chief

City Manager T.C. Broadnax has announced the appointment of James Duggan to the permanent position of Tacoma Fire Chief. Duggan has been serving on an interim basis for the past six months. Duggan will assume command of his new role effective immediately. Former chief Ronald W. Stephens retired on March 29. Stephens was appointed chief in July 2006 after 28 years with the department.

During his tenure as interim chief, Duggan worked to launch department-wide initiatives focused on identifying and implementing fire service industry best practices; restructured the roles and responsibilities of the operations bureaus; and adopted the “FD Cares Program” as an alternative resource for 9-1-1 callers. Prior to his interim position, Duggan served as assistant fire chief for six years managing the Emergency Medical Services Division. Over his 29-year career with the Tacoma Fire Department, Duggan was the first medical services officer and has also served as paramedic supervisor, fireboat pilot and firefighter.

As the chief administrator of the Fire Department, Duggan will plan, direct, manage and oversee daily operations and all aspects of emergency services including implementing strategic plans and procedures, establishing efficient service delivery methods and response time mechanisms, and tracking the department’s budget.

A native of Tacoma, Chief Duggan holds a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from the University of Washington, a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Puget Sound, and attended graduate school at M.I.T. Duggan is a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs and Washington State Fire Chiefs.

“I am honored and humbled by the opportunity to serve the community as Fire Chief. I look forward to leading this great department through these challenging times,” said Duggan.

“Fire services remain a top priority in City core services,” said Broadnax. “I am confident Chief Duggan’s experience and leadership will help the Fire Department continue to provide the highest level of fire and emergency services to the citizens of Tacoma.”

Tacoma Fire Chief James Duggan. (PHOTO COURTESY CITY OF TACOMA)