Sacramento's new fire chief sworn in, takes bugle
New Sacramento Fire Chief Gary Loesch was sworn in Wednesday in a ceremony that featured bagpipes and the solemn passing of a bugle fashioned after the horns that fire chiefs once used to communicate at chaotic fire scenes. Chief Loesch comes to Sacramento from a 33-year career with the Philadelphia Fire Department, where he most recently served as Deputy Fire Commissioner.
Mayor Darrell Steinberg said Loesch brings strong leadership and big city experience to the job in Sacramento. In Philadelphia, Chief Loesch supervised 2,700 employees and developed the city’s first command and leadership school for Fire & EMS lieutenants and captains.
He was also responsible for training and certifying all firefighters and paramedics at the Philadelphia airport and spearheading all crash and rescue operations involving the airfield, aircraft and airport terminals.
“We have attracted a star here,” Mayor Steinberg said.
Chief Loesch, who was accompanied at the ceremony by his wife, Angie, said he was excited about the opportunity to lead the Sacramento Fire Department, the oldest professional, paid fire department west of the Mississippi.
“I was happy in Philadelphia; it had to be a special place to persuade me to leave,” Chief Loesch said. “You have one of the finest fire departments in the country. We’re going to make it even better.”