A man standing in front of a fire truck from Valley Regional Fire Authority.

The VRFA Board of Governance Appoints Brad Thompson Fire Chief

The Valley Regional Fire Authority Board of Governance has appointed Deputy Chief of Operations Brad Thompson to serve as Fire Chief/Administrator, effective August 16, 2021.

“Deputy Chief Thompson was an obvious choice to be the next Fire Chief/Administrator of the VRFA. His dedication to the community and Valley Professional Firefighter men and women, along with his professionalism, is what our community needs for continuity in leadership,” said Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus.

After graduating from Gonzaga University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Thompson spent eight years in private industry. Although he enjoyed a successful career, he felt something was missing. When a friend introduced him to the fire service, Thompson discovered a life’s work that would allow him to apply his formal education, life experience, and foundational values. Soon after hiring on with the Auburn Fire Department in April 1999, he knew he had made the best decision for himself and his family.

Early in his career, Thompson set out to gain experience in all areas of the fire service. He joined the Public Information and Education team, the Health and Wellness team and served on a fire station design committee. After promoting to Captain in 2011, Chief Thompson served as a shift captain on the Medical Program Specialist team and the Technical Rescue Team. He then spent three years as the Planning Captain in the Planning and Logistics Division. Thompson says, “These experiences have shown me how important every workgroup is to efficient service delivery and the organization’s overall success.”

In 2018, Thompson was promoted to Battalion Chief. While working on shift, he completed the nationally accredited University of Washington Certified Public Manager program. Thompson accepted the Deputy Chief of Operations position in 2019. He used his experience and education to improve communication and develop succession planning initiatives while overseeing emergency response, training, the JATC program, and promotional processes. “Deputy Chief Thompson has demonstrated great leadership in this role. He is the right choice to serve the communities of Algona, Auburn, and Pacific,” says Pacific Mayor Leanne Guier, “I look forward to working with him in his new role.”

Thompson believes it is essential to develop collaborative relationships within the fire service and the community to create a safe environment to live, work, and visit. As deputy chief, Thompson worked on local and statewide health initiatives and is the current King County Zone 3 Operations Chiefs Committee chair, working alongside neighboring agencies to streamline regional processes. “The residents of Algona are excited that Deputy Chief Brad Thompson is the next chief of the Valley Regional Fire Authority. He brings an understanding of the culture and community that will be invaluable in the service of our city,” says Algona Mayor Dave Hill.

“I am excited about the opportunity and grateful for the support I have received,” says Chief Thompson.  “Our communities are served by an outstanding team at the VRFA. We are enthusiastic about our future as we grow together and discover new ways to serve.”

Chief Thompson is a member of Auburn’s Blue Ribbon Committee, working to make Auburn the healthiest city in Washington. He has three adult sons and lives with his wife in Tacoma.

Congratulations, Chief Thompson!