Atascadero appoints new fire chief
Casey Bryson appointed Fire Chief for the City of Atascadero
–Atascadero City Manager Rachelle Rickard has announced the promotion and appointment of Atascadero Fire Captain Casey Bryson to the position of Fire Chief for the City of Atascadero. Bryson has been serving the city as Interim Fire Chief since Jan. 1 of this year.
With the departure of former Fire Chief Kurt Stone in June of 2016, the position of Atascadero’s Fire Chief was left vacant. Retired Five Cities Fire Chief Mike Hubert was appointed as Interim Fire Chief last year to fill the void temporarily, while a recruitment to fill the position was ongoing. Chief Hubert’s temporary appointment ended on Dec. 31, 2016.
In its search to locate a very well-qualified individual to fill the position, the city conducted two nationwide recruitments – one last fall and another in January and February of this year. Both of these recruitment processes included the thorough review of numerous applications, an extensive interview panel process as well as in-depth background and reference checks. Upon the conclusion of the most recent recruitment process, Bryson was chosen by the city manager to fill the vacant position. Per the city’s personnel rules, all city manager appointments to department director positions are subject to council confirmation. It is expected that the city council will confirm Bryson’s appointment at their meeting on March 14.
Chief Bryson began his career in fire service with the City of Atascadero as a cadet firefighter through the Atascadero High School Work Experience program in the early 1990s. In 1994 he became a Seasonal/Reserve Firefighter, and then was promoted to a full-time Firefighter/EMT in 1999. Thereafter, he quickly was promoted to Fire Engineer and then to Fire Captain in 2004. Bryson has served the city and the citizens of Atascadero full-time for over 17 years now.
According to City Manager Rachelle Rickard, “We were looking for the right person to fill the extreme demands of the fire chief position. Through the years, Casey has proven himself to be a true team leader and has exhibited the necessary qualities which I feel strongly qualify him to fulfill the role of fire chief. I sincerely appreciate his acceptance of the appointment. On behalf of the entire city, we extend our congratulations as well as our support, and we look forward to continuing to work with Casey, now in his new role as Chief.”
Bryson has served as President of the Atascadero Firefighter’s Association, President of San Luis Obispo Training Officers Association and as the Area Director for the San Luis Obispo/Tri County Area of the Southern California Training Officers Association. He completed paramedic school and holds several incident command positions in the finance section and has been a member of a US Forestry Incident Management Team.
Bryson is a founding member of the North County Technical Rescue Team and has served as the Atascadero Fire Department Team Leader. He also served as the Disaster Response Trailer supervisor. He has led the department’s grant writing team and is the team leader for the Insurance Services Organization (ISO) fire suppression rating classification. Bryson completed six years as Department Training Officer and has been the Emergency Operations Manager, responsible for disaster planning for the city.
Chief Bryson is a graduate of Atascadero High School and Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. He lives in Atascadero with his wife, Heidi and their three children.