Watsonville Fire Chief to Step Down, Return to Cal Fire

Mark Bisbee

City Manager Carlos Palacios announced today that Fire Chief Mark Bisbee will be stepping down as of today in order to return to state service.

“We greatly appreciate Mark’s service to our community over the past 14 years, and his transformative approach as Fire Chief for the past nine years,” Mr. Palacios stated.

While Chief Bisbee’s departure was anticipated for the past few weeks and succession planning discussions have taken place, his departure became official yesterday with his confirmation of reinstatement back to Cal Fire. Prior to joining the Watsonville Fire Department back in 2000, Chief Bisbee has served nearly 15 years with the state agency.

“I’m very grateful to have had the honor to serve as the City’s Fire Chief. It’s been wonderful, and I’ve learned and grown so much, but I’m following my passion, and looking forward to returning to the agency where I began my career,” Chief Bisbee said.

According to Chief Bisbee, “The passage of Measure G signals a major shift in the direction of the Watsonville Fire Department with the attainment of ongoing sustainable funding and so this marks an appropriate time for a transition in leadership as well and the department is well-positioned for the future.

We’ve worked together to complete a gap analysis, upgrade the fleet, develop a long-term CIP plan, Facilities Needs Assessment plan, and several strategic plans. We’ve strengthened the professional development and training programs; stabilized staffing and achieved sustainable funding while making strides to improve fire prevention and to increase emergency and disaster response capabilities. I’ve been honored to serve in a command capacity at several multi-alarm fires, including the Wall St. Inn, Apple Growers, and the Stag Hotel, as well as provide leadership and assistance during the Trabing, Martin and Summit wildland fires of 2008.

I’m very grateful and appreciative for the opportunity to serve the residents of Watsonville and for all I’ve learned and experienced during my tenure here. Watsonville is a special place: a place of challenges but also of resilience; a place that forges fortitude and develops determination. Even the difficult times provided me with new skills and allowed me to grow and to mature as a fire service professional.”

As for Chief Bisbee’s relationship with the City Manager, he added, “I’m especially appreciative of your leadership, support and guidance along the way; I’ve profound respect for your capabilities, especially under arduous circumstances.

I’m proud to have served as your Fire Chief in this wonderful community, alongside such great leaders, peers, subordinates and friends.”

This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 at 12:31 pm and is filed under City Manager, City of Watsonville, Fire Department, Homepage News . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.