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  • Writer's pictureJohanna Rasmussen

Ray Iverson Named New Redwood City Fire Chief

City says, "Iverson will help reimagine services to meet evolving needs and support financial sustainability."


Redwood City Press Release- May 6, 2021


REDWOOD CITY, CA.— City Manager Melissa Stevenson Diaz announced the selection of Ray Iverson as the City’s new Fire Chief. The Redwood City Fire Department serves the communities of Redwood City and San Carlos, a combined population of nearly 120,000. The Department provides advanced life support, emergency medical services, fire operations, fire prevention, disaster preparedness, and community-based training services.


“Ray is a highly competent and experienced fire service leader and I am very pleased that he will be joining our team,” said Diaz. “His deep background in fire prevention is welcome as both Redwood City and San Carlos experience strong development interest. His collaborative leadership style and strategic thinking will help us reimagine services to meet evolving community needs and to support financial sustainability.”

The nationwide recruitment process attracted a strong and diverse candidate pool. In 2020 the Redwood City City Council adopted Equity as a Foundational Guiding Principle and the City is currently developing an Equity Plan to infuse equity in City operations and policy. “I look forward to Ray’s leadership in increasing diversity in the Fire Department and advancing the City’s commitment to equity and inclusion,” said Diaz. Iverson has been a member of the California Fire Service profession since 1991 and has both public and private sector experience in fire service. He currently serves as Fire Chief for the San Mateo Consolidated Fire Department; previously rising through the ranks for the City of San Mateo Fire Department where he also served as Deputy Fire Chief. He also has an extensive background in fire service from various departments throughout Northern California which include Assistant Chief/Fire Marshal for Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District; Battalion Chief/Fire Marshal with the City of Benicia Fire Department; Fire Inspector with Contra Costa County Fire Protection District & City of Vacaville Fire; and Firefighter with City of Union City, City of Vacaville and American Canyon Fire Protection District.

Ray holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Fire Administration from Columbia Southern University and an Associate of Fire Technology degree from Solano Community College as well as numerous professional certifications. He is also currently enrolled in Columbia Southern University’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) program.

“Redwood City is the heart of San Mateo County! I welcome the opportunity to make a positive impact on the communities of Redwood City and San Carlos,” said Iverson. Iverson currently serves as President for the International Fire Service Foundation and is also an Adjunct Faculty member for City College of San Francisco. He resides in San Mateo, California and is a member of the San Mateo Rotary Club.

He will begin work on June 7, 2021. ### Our Farm Hill Neighborhood Association Chairwoman, Johanna Rasmussen, was invited to attend a meeting with Teri Black & Company to provide input on what the Farm Hill Community was looking for in a new Fire Chief.


Johanna shared that the Farm Hill Community would like Ms. Black to search for a diverse candidate, who lived locally, and was well respected for ensuring the safety, well-being, and morale of the men and women who worked for him/her.


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