A black and white photo of a firefighter from the Valley Regional Fire Authority at night.

Battalion Chief Parry Boogard Retires after 38 Years of Service

After 38 years of service to the Algona, Auburn and Pacific communities, Battalion Chief Parry Boogard is retiring. Boogard began his fire service career in 1974, serving as a volunteer firefighter/EMT with King County Fire Protection District #30. Two years later he joined the United States Air Force and served for four years as a firefighter. In 1981 he was hired by the legacy Auburn Fire Department.

In 1993, he was promoted to Captain and in 2004 he was promoted again to Battalion Chief. Throughout his career Boogard has served on many different technical committees and in many technical rescue positions including hazardous materials, rope rescue, confined space, dive and swift water rescue. As a Battalion Chief he not only served as a shift commander, he has also led Planning and Logistics, Training, and Emergency Medical Services.

Boogard served as a team member of the Washington State Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team. Over the years he was deployed numerous times to provide assistance to local and national jurisdictions during disasters. Notable deployments include Hurricane Katrina and the Oso landslide. In 2014 he was appointed as a Washington State Task Force Leader for USAR.

Over the years he has earned many Meritorious Unit Citations, Letters of Commendation, Medal of Merit Awards and was the 1999 Auburn Fire Department Officer of the Year.

“Parry has a deep passion for being a firefighter like no one I’ve seen before. He has a work ethic second to none and stays involved in everything fire department related. He is a wealth of knowledge on everything from contract information, heavy rescue, fires and how to take care of people. His position will be replaced, but his boots can never be filled,” said Battalion Chief Gary Barker.

Battalion Chief Rick Olson adds, “Parry has played an active role in the development of my 20-year career. I will miss the valuable tactical input on just about every type of call imaginable; he is such an important resource to call upon.”

Although Boogard’s career with the VRFA is coming to a close his emergency service career will continue with his recent appointment as an Emergency Management Specialist with the Department of Homeland Security. He will be working as a Response Directorate in the Urban Search and Rescue Branch at FEMA Headquarters in Washington D.C.

We congratulate Battalion Chief Boogard on an outstanding career with the legacy Auburn Fire Department and the VRFA. He will be missed but we wish him all the best as he moves across the country to continue his service.