The fire chief for Heartland Fire & Rescue is set to retire Sunday from a 28-year career that included search and rescue work at the site of 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing and at Ground Zero following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, agency officials said.
Mike Scott, 50, began his career as a firefighter/paramedic in 1984. He was one of the original members of California Task Force-8 Urban search and Rescue, one of 28 federal teams. He was deployed as a technical rescue specialist to the sites of the Northridge Earthquake in 1994, the Atlanta Olympics bombings in 1996 and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York, according to Monica Zech, spokeswoman for the agency.
Scott became fire chief for the city of El Cajon in 2005, and four years later, city managers named him fire chief for Heartland Fire & Rescue, effective when management services of El Cajon, La Mesa and Lemon Grove fire departments merged in January 2010.
"I have been deeply honored to serve as the fire chief for Heartland Fire & Rescue Joint Powers Agreement. We have built a solid organizational foundation and I am confident that this effort will continue to succeed," Scott said. "It has been my privilege to serve the community, the elected officials, the city managers and the dedicated employees of our fire department."
El Cajon City Manager Douglas Williford called Scott an exemplary fire chief and said he deserved a lot of the credit for the success in consolidating three separate city fire departments into Heartland Fire & Rescue.
"I will miss him personally and the entire East County Heartland region will miss him collectively. He is leaving very big shoes to fill for his successor," Williford said.
—City News Service