Pleasanton Weekly

News - May 28, 2010

Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department names new chief

Modesto Fire Chief James Miguel to start new post in July

by Dolores Fox Ciardelli

The Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department has named James Miguel as its new fire chief, to begin July 6. Miguel has 27 years of fire service experience, including eight years as fire chief for the Modesto Fire Department, his current position.

"Jim Miguel understands and values the role of community and organizational stakeholders as partners," said Pleasanton City Manager Nelson Fialho. "We are excited to have him at the helm of the LPFD."

As LPFD fire chief, Miguel will oversee a department with a staff of 129 that provides services to Pleasanton and Livermore residents. These include emergency medical response, fire suppression, rescue emergencies and hazardous materials incidents. The department also does public education regarding fire prevention and emergency preparedness for residents and businesses.

Miguel began his career as a firefighter for the city of Modesto and worked through the ranks of fire engineer, captain, battalion chief and operations division chief. He also has served concurrently in Modesto as the acting deputy city manager and director of finance.

"Jim's broad experience makes him the perfect match for the organization," said Fialho.

Miguel has a masters of science degree in executive fire service leadership from Grand Canyon University, and is a graduate of the executive fire officer program at the National Fire Academy. He resides in Manteca with his wife Susan.

Fire Chief Bill Cody, who was at the helm of the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department for four-and-a-half years, retired Oct. 16. Since then it has been a joint effort of Pleasanton and Livermore to hire a search firm, then interview candidates and reach a decision on a new fire chief. Chief Miguel will report to both Fialho and Livermore City Manager Linda Barton.

Cody noted upon his retirement that the opportunity to serve as fire chief in an organization that reports to two cities presented unique challenges and also the chance to be involved in city and civic activities in both communities.

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