Long-serving Pasco Fire Chief Bob Gear retires after an impressive nearly 50-year career in public service. Effective May 31, his departure concludes a tenure marked by remarkable dedication and leadership.
A graduate of the fire program at Bates Vocational Technical in Tacoma in September 1974, Gear embarked on a journey of tireless public service, marked by his unique ability to inspire and lead. His career started in earnest in 1976 when he was hired by King County Fire District 43 in Maple Valley. In 1984, Gear was appointed as the Chief of Benton County Fire District 1, a position he held until January 2009. Then, he transitioned to his current role as the Pasco Fire Chief, a position he has held for over 14 years, leaving an indelible mark on the City of Pasco and its surrounding communities.
Throughout his career, Gear's commitment extended beyond local lines. He has worked extensively with state and federal wildland agencies, responding to numerous large fires across Washington and the broader western United States. Notably, Gear assisted the New York Fire Department in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks and provided his expertise to NASA during the Columbia space shuttle recovery. His exceptional service was recognized in 2018 when he was named "Washington Fire Chief of the Year."
City Manager Adam Lincoln said, "Chief Gear has been an incredible leader who has navigated Pasco through the fight against COVID and set a high bar for leadership in the Fire Service. We are immensely proud and thankful for his work and dedication to the City of Pasco. His significant contribution to our City's growth will be remembered for years to come. Chief Gear will be greatly missed!"
As Chief Gear transitions into retirement, the City is currently interviewing finalists for the Fire Chief position and expects to announce a successor in the coming weeks.