City of Long Beach
Public Information Office
333 W. Ocean Blvd,
Long Beach, CA 90802
The City of Long Beach announced today the retirement of Fire Department Chief Michael A. DuRee. Since 1994, DuRee has served Long Beach in the Department, starting as a firefighter. He worked his way through the ranks and has served as Fire Chief for the last six years. Chief DuRee was born and raised in the city and is a fourth-generation Long Beach firefighter and a fifth-generation City employee. He has served as President of the Los Angeles Area Fire Chiefs Association, representing 31 fire departments throughout Los Angeles County; President of the California Fire Chiefs Association; and board member for the International Metro Chiefs Association.
“The City team is going to miss the Chief tremendously. He is a popular figure throughout our city and really developed the culture and drove the work ethic of our amazing men and women of our Fire Department, who run toward danger every day to protect our community,” said City Manager Patrick H. West. “Though he has led so many efforts for our City, he would humbly, and proudly, tell you that it is his team that made it all happen. I thank the Chief for his leadership, professionalism and for his great service to our city.”
Chief DuRee is a recognized Fire Service leader and has many accomplishments throughout his career, including developing key strategies that helped shape the culture and core values of the Department. During his tenure in the Department, DuRee: established the HEART team, which is integral to the outreach process to those in the city who are experiencing homelessness; improved the structure of the recruit selection process, leading to greater entry-level diversity in the organization as well as greater levels of retention through the fire academy and probationary process; and reformed the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program, adding Spanish-language and teen programs, with total community participation of over 2000 people throughout the city. He also enhanced the Community Services section of the Department by developing and implementing a robust social media strategy.
DuRee greatly improved the functionality of the Fire Prevention Bureau, enhancing speed and connectivity with the business community, and enhanced the Community Services section of the Department by developing greater levels of engagement with the community. Beyond his local accomplishments, he also assisted in the development and passage of statewide and federal legislation that benefited the Fire Service. Further, he enhanced the City’s role in the statewide, master mutual aid system.
“I have been honored to serve as the Fire Chief for the Long Beach Fire Department. It was my dream, as a child, to follow in the footsteps of my father, grandfather, and great-grandfather and join the Long Beach Fire Department,” said Chief DuRee. “I am thankful for everything the City has provided me and my family throughout my career. The Long Beach Fire Department is one of the finest fire service organizations in the country, and I am honored to say that I have been a part of our shared success. I am confident that the department will continue to exceed the expectations of, and do amazing work for, our community.”
In retirement, DuRee plans to spend more time with family and travel. He will continue to work with the California Fire Chiefs Association and Metro Chiefs Association on issues that affect the Fire Service.
Chief DuRee’s last day with the City will be October 5, 2018. The City Manager will conduct an internal recruitment for the next Fire Chief and announce the appointment of the next Long Beach Fire Chief prior to Chief DuRee’s departure.
About the City of Long Beach
Home to approximately 470,000 people, the multiple award-winning and innovative City of Long Beach offers all the world-class amenities of a large metropolitan city while maintaining a strong sense of individual and diverse neighborhoods nestled together along the California coast. Long Beach is home to the Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific, several museums and theaters, a highly-rated school district, Long Beach Airport, the Port of Long Beach, as well as many award-winning City departments such as Health, Parks, Recreation and Marine, Development Services and more. The City also has a highly-respected university and city college, two historic ranchos, five hospitals, five golf courses, 170 parks, miles of beaches, marinas, bike paths, and a Bike Share program.