Long Beach Fire Chief Announces Retirement
Long Beach Fire Chief Mike DuRee has announced his retirement after 24 years with the department. DuRee will step down on Oct. 5.
DuRee has served as chief since 2012. He began his career with the LBFD in 1994 as a firefighter.
“As Fire Chief, he has led the department with integrity, and set policy that has reduced response times, modernized the department, and expanded the number of firefighters on our force,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. The mayor also thanked him for the leadership he showed after the tragic killing of LBFD Capt. David Rosa in June.
DuRee’s tenure was marked by several innovative improvements, such as the creation of the department’s homelessness outreach (HEART) team and a new Community Emergency Response Team. There were difficulties as well, including tussles with the city’s firefighter’s union and controversy over a paramedics staffing system that DuRee tried to create.
It has been an honor to serve the LBFD for more than two decades, DuRee said, adding that it was his dream “to follow in the footsteps of my father, grandfather, and great-grandfather and join the Long Beach Fire Department.”
DuRee will continue working for the California Fire Chiefs Association and the Metro Chiefs Association in retirement. The department is seeking a replacement internally and plans announce the next chief before DuRee’s departure.