Paul Alvarado, the Assistant Fire Chief in Long Beach, California, will be the next Palm Springs Fire Chief, City Manager Scott Stiles announced.
Alvarado has served as Assistant Fire Chief in Long Beach since 2018. He began his career in Long Beach 27 years ago as a firefighter/paramedic and through the years worked his way up to Captain, Battalion Chief — and then Assistant Fire Chief.
Prior to Long Beach, Alvarado served as a firefighter for the North Las Vegas Fire Department from 1994-1996 — and as a firefighter for Northrop Aircraft Division from 1993-1994.
In Long Beach, Alvarado helped lead the Fire Prevention Bureau and also served as Fire Chief for the Port of Long Beach, overseeing a total budget of $29 million.
Some of Alvarado’s key achievements while in Long Beach include successfully implementing alternative fuel projects at the Port of Long Beach as well as serving as the liaison to Long Beach Airport where he was responsible for emergency operations, code enforcement, and implementing FAA training standards. In addition, Alvarado reformed the Long Beach Fire Department’s aircraft rescue and fire training, and managed its triennial large-scale exercise. He also developed an emergency response plan for the new Long Beach International Gateway Bridge, including the acquisition of a small emergency response vehicle for bike path emergencies.
Alvarado holds a B.S. in Organizational Leadership from Azusa Pacific University and an Associate of Science from San Jacinto College. He received Chief Fire Officer Training from the state of California and graduated from the University of Southern California’s Sol Price School of Public Safety Leadership Program.
“Paul Alvarado is an outstanding leader with an exceptional background in firefighting and executive leadership at one of the most respected fire departments in the nation,” said City Manager Scott Stiles. “In particular, his years of experience managing the firefighting needs at Long Beach Airport will serve us well in Palm Springs as our international airport continues to grow and flourish.”
Alvarado and his wife Kitty, a former general assignment reporter for NBC Palm Springs, are the parents of two adult sons, who are both first responders — and a Cairn Terrier named Bette Davis.
Alvarado is expected to begin his new position with the City of Palm Springs in early May.
“I am honored and humbled to be chosen to serve as the next Fire Chief of Palm Springs, California, a city I know well and have long admired for being one of the most welcoming and inclusive in the nation and committed to public safety,” said Alvarado.
“My wife Kitty and I have great affection for the Palm Springs community and I am incredibly excited to take the helm at the Palm Springs Fire Department and lead this already great team of dedicated firefighters into the next generation.”