LB Fire Command Staff to Serve as Chief in Rotation

Long Beach, California, cloud formations in sky above modern city skyline and boat-filled marina

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LONG BEACH (CNS) - Sworn members of the Long Beach Fire Department command staff will serve as acting fire chief in rotation as the search to fill the position continues, city officials announced today.

``The deputy and assistant chiefs of the Long Beach Fire Department command staff understand the daily and big picture needs of the department and our community,'' City Manager Tom Modica said in a statement. ``I have the utmost confidence in their abilities to lead our amazing Fire Department sworn and civilian staff, as they already do, to keep our community safe as we look for the next permanent chief.''

Chief Xavier Espino announced his retirement last month. Friday will be his last day on the job.

``I'd like to thank Chief Espino for his dedication to the Long Beach community through his decades of service,'' Modica said. ``His leadership and achievements will be felt for many years to come. I wish him the best in retirement.''

The city's recruitment process for the next permanent chief is likely to conclude in February, Modica said. Rotating members of the command staff is common practice when the chief is unavailable, according to the agency. As acting fire chief, the members of the command staff will be accountable for the administration, management and efficient operations of all department resources, Modica said. The acting chief is also required to respond to emergencies as necessary and assume incident command of emergency operations.

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