Christopher Beswick, 52, began his first day on the job as assistant chief April 10, succeeding retiring KPFD Assistant Chief Hal Wolverton.
Beswick has been in the fire service 31 years. He spent the last four as fire chief of Nehalem Bay Fire and Rescue in Oregon, following 18 years as a captain and paramedic with Avondale Fire-Rescue in Arizona. He holds a national paramedic certification and has taught at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland, since 2011. He earned a Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree from Arizona State University and is a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy.
Beswick has been married for 26 years and has three daughters and three grandchildren. Their oldest daughter lives in Tacoma with her family, and he and his wife wanted to be closer.
“I was looking for a change, something slightly more urban but with a rural feel,” Beswick said. “In Tillamook County, we had five staff and 20 volunteers.”
Beswick spoke to KP News on day three of his new job.
“Hal (Wolverton) did a great job of leaving me with a clean slate, but I know problems are going to pop up,” he said.
“I’ll be running the operation side, in charge of the battalion chiefs, who are in charge of the crews; working with the training officer to make sure training is up to speed; keeping the apparatus operational,” he said. “One of my first tasks is to take over the committee specing new apparatus; we desperately need a new engine.”
In his spare time, which he does not have at the moment, Beswick and his wife, who worked in the airline industry, like to travel. “For quite a few years I volunteered for Team Rubicon, which is a disaster relief organization,” he said, noting that he plans to look into local relief agencies, such as Empact Northwest. “That’s my idea of travel: Going to disasters.”
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