Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and City Administrator Sabrina Landreth announced Thursday that they have appointed interim Fire Chief Darin White to be the city’s new permanent fire chief.
White, who is assuming his new role immediately, succeeds former Chief Teresa Deloach-Reed, who came under pressure after the Ghost Ship warehouse fire last December killed 36 people and retired shortly afterward.
City officials said White is an Oakland native with 30 years in fire service, 20 of them in Oakland.
Schaaf said in a statement:
“We conducted a rigorous national search to find the best fire chief for Oakland and sought a chief who will be a decisive and highly visible leader with a proven reputation for being accessible, honest and transparent.”
Schaaf said the city also sought “a leader who knows our community and will provide exceptional service and whose inspiring demeanor will continue to move the Oakland Fire Department forward.”
“Finding the right fire chief was a high priority, and we engaged in a robust and methodical process to evaluate extraordinary candidates from across the country.”
“Chief White grew up in Oakland, graduated from Oakland High School, is raising his family here, understands the dynamics and complexities of Oakland, and continues to live here as a pillar of our community.”
City officials said that in his role as interim fire chief for the past nine months, White has demonstrated effective management, operational excellence and compassionate leadership during some difficult incidents, including a shooting that killed an off-duty firefighter and injured another in San Jose and a massive fire at a housing project under construction.
“I am excited that I have been chosen to lead the Oakland Fire Department in its ongoing goal of delivering the most responsive and highest caliber service that can be expected of fire service professionals.”
Though White is assuming his new duties immediately, Schaaf and Landreth will host a ceremonial swearing-in for him in Schaaf’s office in City Hall at 1 p.m. Friday.