By Gordon R. Friedman
PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland Fire Chief Mike Myers resigned Thursday, the day after his new boss, Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, was sworn into office.
Myers’ resignation comes amid his push to reimagine Portland Fire & Rescue from top to bottom, efforts that earned him respect and praise in City Hall.
His “Blueprint For Success” was to equip the city’s 700 firefighters to respond effectively to health emergencies such as drug overdoses and mental health crises, given that such calls are much more common than summons to put out fires.
Hardesty said in a statement that she is sad to lose Myers' “leadership and friendship.”
“His vision for a vibrant city was exactly what we need and I am disappointed to not work on his plan together,” the statement said, adding that Myers, 51, will relocate to the Oregon coast town of Gearhart, where his wife lives.
“I look forward to working with my colleagues to recruit and retain leaders moving forward,” Hardesty said, “and make the city of Portland an employer of choice.”
A Fire Bureau spokesman was not immediately available Thursday to field a request to interview Myers.
Before coming the Portland chief in 2016, Myers had retired from his job as the Las Vegas fire chief and took a job as fire chief in a small city in Missouri. He began his firefighting career in Las Vegas in 1986.
There were few if any signs of Myers’ impending resignation.
Myers posed for photos with Hardesty on Wednesday after her swearing in at City Hall. On Thursday, the Fire Bureau posted a photo of the chief and commissioner on Twitter, showing Hardesty wearing a fire helmet and Myers standing by her side with a smile and a thumb’s up.
The photo was accompanied with the message “Welcome aboard, Commissioner Hardesty.”
Copyright 2019 The Oregonian
— Portland Fire&Rescue (@PDXFire) January 3, 2019
McClatchy-Tribune News Service