Poulsbo Fire Department selects next Fire Chief

POULSBO — The Poulsbo Fire Department Board of Commissioners have selected a new fire chief. Deputy Chief Jim Gillard will take over following the planned retirement of Fire Chief Jeff Griffin. Gillard starts his new position July 1.

“We are very pleased to have been able to select from several well-qualified candidates from within the organization,” board of Fire Commissioners Chairman Jim Ingalls said.

“Chief Gillard is well-respected and has an exemplary record of service and commitment to the department and the community. Chief Gillard’s collaborative leadership style and innovative thinking will continue to improve the ability of the department to serve the community.”

Gillard was hired as a firefighter/EMT with the Poulsbo Fire Department in 1996. After volunteering for Eastside Fire and Rescue in King County for seven years, he was promoted to lieutenant in 2000, and then to battalion chief in 2005.

During that time, he has served as the district’s training officer and the health and safety officer. Gillard earned a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Oregon University in Fire Administration. He previously completed the Fire Command and Administration program through Bellevue College and graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor’s degree in geography in 1995. Gillard has lived with his family in Poulsbo since 1999 and is actively involved with youth sports in North Kitsap.

“I am honored to have been selected to lead an organization which I feel fortunate to simply be a part of,” Gillard said.

“This department is filled with great men and women who are dedicated to protecting this community with both professionalism and compassion. I am committed to ensuring that we continue to serve this community as efficiently and effectively as possible, earning the community’s trust every day.”

Jeff Griffin has served as Poulsbo’s fire chief since 2012 and has served for over 37 years in the fire service.

“Chief Griffin has successfully led the Poulsbo Fire Department, restoring service levels lost in the economic downturn, including the re-staffing of Station 72 in Surfrest and replacing several aging fire apparatus,” Gillard said. “His legacy will be for establishing a positive and effective labor-management relationship that is serving as a model for other agencies.”