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Sacramento appoints Philadelphia’s Gary Loesch as city’s new fire chief

Gary Loesch, a fire official with more than 30 years of experience in the Philadelphia Fire Department, has been named the city’s new fire chief.
Gary Loesch, a fire official with more than 30 years of experience in the Philadelphia Fire Department, has been named the city’s new fire chief. Philadelphia Fire Department

Sacramento city officials today announced they have hired Philadelphia fire official Gary Loesch as the city’s 22nd fire chief, ending a five-month national search.

Loesch replaces former chief Walt White who retired in March. Loesch, a 32-year veteran, began his career in 1985 with the city of Philadelphia, and worked his way up through the ranks. He is most recently served as that city’s deputy fire commissioner.

Loesch also served in the U.S. Army as a helicopter crew chief.

“I am confident that Chief Loesch will bring his significant experience to bear to move the Fire Department forward,” City Manager Howard Chan said. “He has a demonstrated track record of finding new and innovative solutions to improving service delivery, which is critical given the evolving nature of the fire service.”

Mayor Darrell Steinberg said he was pleased the city had landed a chief with big-city experience to lead the $118 million department’s 681 personnel.

“Chief Loesch has a reputation for strong leadership and an even temperament. Those skills will benefit our city as we continue to grow while maintaining excellent service for our residents,” the mayor said.

Loesch will begin work Monday, Oct. 1.

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