The Fire District 1 Board of Commissioners and two members of the Lynnwood City Council, who will serve on the transition board for the newly approved South Snohomish County Fire and Rescue Regional Fire Authority (RFA), unanimously selected Bruce Stedman as their preferred candidate for Fire Chief.
Stedman is currently the chief of the Arlington Fire Department, which is a position he has held since 2010.
He began his work in fire service as a firefighter in Alhambra, California in 1978. He worked in many ranks there, including Fire Chief.
Fire District 1 serves unincorporated Snohomish County and contracts with the cities of Edmonds, Mountlake Terrace and Brier. Starting Oct. 1, Fire District 1 will combine with the Lynnwood Fire Department to form a voter-approved RFA.
Stedman’s selection as preferred candidate was decided during Fire District 1’s regular commission meeting on Aug. 22. Multiple commissioners said Stedman stood out from the other candidates.
“His answers to all of our questions were right on with what we were looking for,” said Chair Jim McGaughey.
Commissioners Richard T. Schrock and David Chan said they were glad to see Stedman’s years of experience both in fire service and as a Fire Chief. Schrock was especially impressed by Stedman’s record of being a “transforming” force in his previous work.
Lynnwood City Councilmembers M. Christopher Boyer and Benjamin Goodwin, who will serve on the RFA’s transitional board starting in October, both indicated they are looking forward to working with Stedman while forming the new RFA.
“I’m very excited that he’s the preferred candidate,” said Goodwin.
Stedman attended the meeting to hear the commissioners’ formal selection.
“I am honored in your trust for this job,” he said. “It’s an incredible job. We have an incredible opportunity. Come Oct. 1, we are starting a whole new organization. We can take the best of both organizations and throw out the bad, and I’m completely energized about that.”
He said the new RFA has the potential to become a “world-class agency.”
“There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that we will be a world-class agency,” he said.
The hiring process is expected to continue through the coming weeks before Stedman officially becomes the new chief. A formal announcement on the decision from Fire District 1 is expected Wednesday.