The news of Kirkland Fire Chief Nalder's departure has been whispered around town for months and today we received word that Nalder will not be returning to town. We wish Chief Nalder well and we look forward to meeting his replacement.
Kirkland has two important vacancies to fill: Police Chief Olsen who announced his retirement last month and now the top spot in the Fire Department. The City Manager has his work cut out for him in the months ahead.
Chief Nalder had notable achievements while working for Kirkland. He helped found the Eastside Metro Training Group which has benefited Kirkland and our neighboring cities and fire districts. During the recession, Chief Nalder’s implementation of the emergency transport fee prevented layoffs and avoided reductions in emergency response services. Under his leadership Kirkland had a successful annexation transition with the lateral transfer of 9 firefighters and the addition of new firefighters. Among his other accomplishments were initiating the Fire Strategic Plan, the Standards of Cover study and accreditation by the Commission of Fire Accreditation International, which all position the Fire Department for future success.
Acting Chief Joe Sanford will replace Nalder as the interim Chief effective August 8. Chief Sanford has agreed to serve in this capacity as long as necessary.