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Riverside Fire Chief Steve Earley Retires; Acting Fire Chief Named

Earley, a 32-year RFD veteran, will serve as Fire Administrator, handle special projects

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Riverside Fire Chief Steve Earley retired on Friday (12/27) following a 32-year career with the Riverside Fire Department, including the past 4½ years as Fire Chief.

“I am amazed at what a great Department we have, and how far we’ve come in the last 125 years while continuing to consistently grow and advance,” Earley said. “I am excited about the future of our Department and the innovations that await the fire service. I know our personnel will continue to develop themselves and advance safety to ensure all personnel go home safely.”

Chief Earley will begin working on Jan. 10, 2014 as the city’s Fire Administrator to mentor three chief officers who will rotate in the Acting Fire Chief position through Sept. 30. This rotation will provide candidates applying for the Fire Chief position with best the opportunity for success.

As Fire Administrator, Early also will work on special projects, including representing the City in Riverside County EMS study.

“Chief Earley has been an outstanding Fire Chief,” City Manager Scott Barber said. “I appreciate his leadership and his dedicated service to the City of Riverside and its residents.”

Deputy Chief Mike Esparza became Acting Fire Chief at 5 p.m. today and will serve through March 31. Division Chief Bill Schellhous will be Acting Fire Chief April 1 to June 30. Division Chief LaWayne Hearn will be Acting Fire Chief July 1 to Sept. 30. The City is expected to select a Fire Chief subsequently.

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