New Fire Chief Named in San Marcos

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The City of San Marcos has named Battalion Chief Brett C. Van Wey as its new fire chief. He will take over from veteran Fire Chief Todd Newman, who is retiring after more than 30 years in the department, the last eight as chief. An exact transition date has yet to be set, but will be sometime in the first half of 2014.

“The City is in an enviable position as Brett will have a valuable transitional period with Chief Newman,” said City Manager Jack Griffin, who selected the new chief from a competitive field of internal candidates.

Van Wey, who started with the department as a reserve firefighter 27 years ago, will oversee a $14.6 million budget and force of 76 firefighters, EMTs and staff. The department provides fire protection to 95,000 residents in the City and surrounding rural areas served by the San Marcos Fire Protection District.

The department, Van Wey said, will continue to lose a significant number of firefighters to retirement after a burst of hiring in the late ’80s and early ’90s and a key goal will be “to make sure we are growing and mentoring our people for the next five to seven years.”

Van Wey, 47, has a long history of training and teaching in the San Marcos area. He moved up the department ranks as engineer, captain and in 2001, battalion chief. He has served more than two decades as an adjunct instructor and fire technology coordinator at Palomar College. He received his A.A. in Fire Science from the college and has a B.A. in Public Administration from San Diego State University.

Major accomplishments include assisting in the development of the City’s three newest fire stations and the regional training facility; implementing emergency operations procedures for San Marcos and north San Diego County cities; and developing a revenue-sharing program between Palomar College and local fire departments.

He is married, has three children and especially enjoys outdoor activities with the family

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