Bellingham fire chief to retire, move into private sector

Bellingham Fire Chief Bill Boyd announced he will retire from his position in October and begin a senior management job with Coastal Industrial Services of Ferndale.

Boyd, who was appointed fire chief in 2003, has been with Bellingham Fire Department since November 1983. In that time, he has served as a firefighter, a paramedic, an EMS captain, a fire captain, a public information officer and an assistant fire chief.

He lead emergency responses to some of Bellingham’s largest fire incidents in recent history, including the 1999 Whatcom Creek explosion, the 2009 Whatcom Middle School fire and the Squalicum Marina Boathouse fire that occurred earlier this year.

“I leave here with very mixed emotions,” Boyd said, in a press release. “I’m sad to leave a great organization and team that I consider family. At the same time, I’m excited to move on to new challenges and possibilities with a fast-growing company that has a strong focus on employee safety and customer service.”

Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville said in a statement that Boyd had made significant contributions to the city’s ability to deal with emergencies of all kinds. She added that the fire chief was a key figure in helping maintain Whatcom County’s unified Medic One system.

“Bill is a creative, energetic and forward-thinking leader and manager,” Linville said. “He is a collaborator and an important contributor to our management team, and has served his community with distinction, honor and a great deal of heart.”

Boyd’s last day as fire chief is Oct. 12. In his new position at Coastal Industrial Services, he will oversee seven offices on the West Coast and in Hawaii as a corporate health and safety manager, according to Kris Palmerton, vice president of the company.

Boyd is the second public-safety official in Bellingham to announce retirement plans this month.

Bellingham Police Chief Todd Ramsay announced Sept. 4 that he plans to retire from his position at the end of 2012.

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