South King Fire seeks to fill chief position internally

Current fire chief Dr. Allen Church to retire this year.

Although South King Fire and Rescue Fire Chief Dr. Allen Church isn’t retiring until Dec. 31, the search is on to find his replacement.

A special board of fire commissioners meeting will be held Feb. 26 to interview three internal candidates for the position of fire chief.

The internal SKFR candidates are Deputy Chief Dave Mataftin, Assistant Chief Vic Pennington who is also the deputy mayor for the city of Des Moines, and Assistant Chief Rick Chaney.

The board reserves the right to expand the search to include external candidates, according to a Feb. 20 letter from the board.

After more than 41 years of paid career fire service in the Federal Way and Des Moines areas, Church announced his retirement from South King on Jan. 1.

Church was hired by Federal Way Fire in 1978 and has “held every possible rank along the way,” he wrote in his resignation letter on Jan. 1.

He was promoted to fire chief on Sept. 1, 2001 and the final day of his service is Dec. 31, 2019.

“It has truly been an honor to be a member of our wonderful organization for more than 41 years,” he wrote. “… During all my years of service, I have endeavored to provide the highest level of commitment to our department, its members, and the community as humanly possible.”

The special board meeting that is open to the public will be held Tuesday, Feb. 26 beginning 8:45 a.m. at Station 68, at 1405 SW 312th St. in Federal Way.

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