FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE From Glenn A. Johnson, Mayor
Monday, December 19, 2011 John Sherman, City Supervisor
| PULLMAN—A former Seattle area fire chief who started his career as a volunteer firefighter and rose to fire chief in King County was named Monday as Pullman’s new fire chief.
Mayor Glenn Johnson said Scott LaVielle [pronounced la vee ay] was selected as fire chief, pending confirmation by the City Council at its meeting Jan.10. He will start his duties as chief on Jan. 30, 2012.
“We consider ourselves very fortunate to have been able to hire Scott with his wealth of experience, leadership in the fire service both at local and national levels, and his commitment to continuing education,” Johnson said. He said he was pleased with the high caliber of the five individuals who came to Pullman on Dec. 7 for interviews with a selection panel that included a fire chief from the Spokane area and one from Coeur d’Alene. “All five candidates came with excellent qualifications,” Johnson added.
Chief Scott A. LaVielle
LaVielle served as the fire chief of North Highline Fire District from 2007 until 2010 when budget cuts and an annexation of the fire district occurred. He said there was a high probability that by next year the last portion of the district would be annexed by Seattle.
LaVielle was with the North Highline Fire District for 29 years, first joining as volunteer and a year later, began his paid career as a firefighter. He rapidly advanced through the ranks and became a lieutenant six years after becoming a career firefighter. A year later he became captain and a year after that was named battalion chief and fire marshal. From there he became battalion chief commander and then fire chief.
The Seattle native holds a number of degrees, including fire command and administration, fire prevention, fire investigation, a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a bachelor’s degree in public administration leadership. He is currently working on a master’s degree in executive fire leadership. He is a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s four-year program as executive fire officer. LaVielle has authored several publications that are used at the national academy.
“I’m truly honored to have been chosen to lead the men and women of the Pullman Fire Department,” LaVielle said. “I know it’s an excellent organization and I look forward to taking it to the next level.”
The new chief, who has demonstrated throughout his career that he is a life-long learner, holds a variety of state and national certifications. He is certified as firefighter I and II, fire officer I and II, fire instructor I and II, fire investigator, fire inspector, hazardous material operations and he is certified as a public fire and life safety educator.
In addition to those certifications, LaVielle is unique in the world. Through the Center for Public Safety Excellence, he said that he is one of 742 worldwide designated as a “chief fire officer” and one of 68 worldwide who holds the designation of “chief medical officer.” LaVielle said that there are only 19 individuals in the world, and he is one of them, who hold both designations.
Johnson said in addition to LaVielle’s positive leadership and outstanding character, the new fire chief has been active in the community served by his district. On Jan. 1, he becomes the new president of the Northwest Burn Foundation. There has been a close relationship between the foundation and the fire service since its inception. Its goal is to prevent burns and improve the quality of life for burn survivors through programs, education and research.
He was appointed to the King County Building Code Advisory Board by former County Executive Ron Sims. LaVielle has organized street fairs for the Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Hope 6 Community Task Force working on a revitalization project for an old housing project. He is chair of the Greenbridge Foundation, a community group that works to obtain grants and donations to revitalize the Boys and Girls Club in the community.
LaVielle will replace long-time chief, Pat Wilkins, who retired in August after working in the department for 40 years, the last 27 years as chief. Mike Heston, who has been serving as acting chief since August, will return to his duties as Operations chief on Jan. 30.