By Terry Miller
Pasadena City Manager Steve Mermell has announced that a five-year veteran fire chief has been reassigned.
“After serving as the Fire Chief for the past five years, I’m pleased to announce Chief Bertral Washington has joined the city manager’s office on special assignment. He will be working with the city management team and me to implement projects related to public safety including the City’s Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) program. I look forward to Chief Washington lending his expertise on these projects, the results of which are expected to enhance public safety in and around the City of Pasadena.
“While Chief Washington is on this special assignment, Deputy Chief Bryan Frieders will serve as acting fire chief.”
Chief Washington came under fire last year when he clashed with the Pasadena Firefighters Association over mourning bands honoring firefighters that died battling deadly fires in 2018.
Since that incident, the rank and file has allegedly lost confidence in Washington’s leadership, according to a source familiar with the issue.
We contacted Sean Timoney, president of Pasadena Firefighters Association Local 809 for comment on this new development. Without reference to Washington’s reassignment, Timoney expressed complete confidence in the acting chief.
“We are confident in Chief Frieders leadership and his ability to carry out the Fire Department’s mission. The community is in good hands and Pasadena Firefighters Local 809 looks forward to our continued collaboration during Chief Frieders time as acting fire chief.