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Pocatello fire chief to retire after 28 years with city

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) - Pocatello’s highest ranking firefighter is retiring.

At the end of this month, Pocatello Fire Chief David G. Gates is retiring from his 28-year career with the City of Pocatello. Before joining the City, Gates served in the U.S. Navy for nine and a half years. He was hired as a firefighter in 1993 and worked his way through various promotions, ultimately being named Pocatello Fire Chief in 2013. During this time, he also earned his Masters of Business Administration degree from Idaho State University (ISU).

“I can honestly say I still love my job, despite the long hours and the many trials and tribulations the position brings,” Gates said. “The fire service has been an ideal career for me, filled with opportunity, wonderful relationships, and immense job satisfaction.”

Gates has also been very active in statewide fire and emergency service. He served as the President of the Idaho Fire Chiefs Association for six years. He has served on numerous committees including Pocatello’s Local Emergency Planning Committee, Gateway Interagency Fire Front, and District Interoperable Governance Board, as well as being appointed by Governor Otter as a member of the Idaho Public Safety Communications Commission and the Idaho School Safety and Security Advisory Board. He is also currently the Incident Commander and Planning Section Chief for Idaho’s Incident Management and Support Team and is a fire service instructor for various organizations.

“I can’t express my appreciation to David enough,” Mayor Brian Blad said. “He’s been a very good Fire Chief for the City. He is truly dedicated to the department and to our community. I’ll miss working with him every day.”

In retirement, Gates, along with his wife, Sheri, intends to continue traveling, taking motorcycle trips, visiting their young grandson, spending time with their dogs Bozwell and Boo, and attending many ISU and community events.

“Even though I grew up in Concord, California, Idaho is my home. The quality of life is a perfect fit, and I’m looking forward to spending my retirement here.”

His last day as fire chief will be December 31.

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