Following an extensive recruitment beginning in early 2020, the City of La Verne is excited to announce the selection of Christopher Nigg as the new Fire Chief of the La Verne Fire Department (LVFD). During the August 16 meeting, the La Verne City Council approved Nigg’s employment agreement thus finalizing his appointment as the City’s new Fire Chief and ending the over two-year hiatus of a permanent Fire Chief leading the department. Nigg’s projected start date comes the end of this month on August 30, 2021, and the City of La Verne looks forward to the leadership Nigg will provide to the LVFD.
Nigg brings 20 years of experience in fire and emergency medical services to his new role as Fire Chief for LVFD. Early on, he began his career in the private ambulance sector, while also serving as a paid call firefighter. His professional fire service career began with the San Bernardino City Fire Department where he served as a member of the department training cadre, was an urban search and rescue specialist and an Honor Guard Officer. He rose to the rank of Captain, before transferring to the Fullerton Fire Department where he was promoted into the Chief Officer ranks. He spent almost seven years at the City of Fullerton providing shared fire command and management with the City of Brea. Throughout his fire service career, he has held every rank possible including having recently served as Fullerton and Brea’s Fire Marshal. His background in fire service includes experience in fire department operations, administration, prevention, community risk reduction and emergency management.
In addition to his significant ‘boots on the ground’ experience, Nigg has also received training in a broad spectrum of State Fire specialties and holds professional certifications as: Executive Chief Fire Officer, Chief Officer, Fire Officer and Firefighter 1 & 2 and is a California Incident Command Certification System Strike Team Leader. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from Arizona State University and a Master’s degree in Emergency Services Administration from California State University, Long Beach. Nigg also recently served as the President of the Orange County Fire Marshals, a JPA board member for Orange County Cities Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Authority and President of Fullerton Fire Management Association. Nigg’s comprehensive background and experience makes him an ideal choice for LFVD’s management needs during this time of deliberation and potential change.
Since 2019, the City has delegated several interim chief appointments to oversee the department. Recruitment for a permanent Fire Chief began in early May 2020, but was brought to a standstill due to unforeseen challenges from COVID-19 and discussions regarding the delivery service model options. The first round of assessment interviews were completed mid-May 2021, with each candidate facing three separate interview panels from community members, technical staff and the La Verne Firefighters’ Association representatives. Through this process, two individuals were selected and advanced for further consideration out of the many applicants the City had received from individuals all over the country. These two preferred candidates, including Nigg, were then interviewed separately by City Council and department heads. Following these interviews, all parties involved unanimously agreed on their recommendation of Nigg as the next Fire Chief to the City Manager.
“I am honored to have been selected as La Verne’s incoming Fire Chief,” said Nigg. “I intend to deliver steadfast and inclusive leadership to this great Fire Department. The collaborative efforts ahead will work to best position the Department so that its proud Firefighters can provide a sustainable, yet innovative service model for the community’s needs.”
The new Fire Chief will continue its discussions with the City on establishing a collaborative path forward while discussions with L.A. County Fire continues. If the County terms are favorable, they will be put on the June 2022 ballot for La Verne voters to ratify before being finalized. To learn more about the process and evaluation of the City’s fire and emergency services, please visit LVFireServices.org.