Glendale finds its next fire chief across town in Scottsdale

Oct 3, 2022, 3:00 PM
New Glendale Fire Chief Ryan Freeburg (Scottsdale Fire Department Photo)...
New Glendale Fire Chief Ryan Freeburg (Scottsdale Fire Department Photo)
(Scottsdale Fire Department Photo)

PHOENIX – After a nationwide search, Glendale found its next fire chief across town.

Ryan Freeburg will take the reins of the Glendale Fire Department on Oct. 10, the West Valley suburb announced last week.

Freeburg has 26 years of fire service experience, most recently as assistant chief with the Scottsdale Fire Department.

“The men and women of the Glendale Fire Department are recognized for their bravery and dedication with protecting lives and properties in our community,” Freeburg said in a press release.

“Under my leadership, we will continue to build a culture of professionalism, innovation and accountability.”

Assistant Chief Ken Barnes has been running the Glendale department on an interim basis since Terry Garrison retired as chief earlier this year.

Glendale City Manager Kevin Phelps said Freeburg was chosen, in part, because of his familiarity with how fire departments operate in the Valley and his relationship with other chiefs in the area.

Plus, he knows what it’s like to deal with big events, something that will be necessary in Glendale, home of next year’s Super Bowl.

“His experience in Scottsdale with the WM Phoenix Open and Barrett-Jackson special events shows that he understands the complex planning and dedication of resources needed for NFL games, large concerts, NCAA Men’s Final Fours and Super Bowls that Glendale hosts,” Phelps said in the release.

Freeburg earned a bachelor’s degree in public safety administration from Grand Canyon University, where he played baseball. He spent three seasons in the Colorado Rockies’ minor league system before focusing on his firefighting career.

He started in 1996 with Rural Metro, which was Scottsdale’s primary fire service provider at the time. Freeburg moved to the Scottsdale Fire Department when it was created in 2005.

“Chief Freeburg is an outstanding leader and professional,” Scottsdale Chief Tom Shannon said in a press release. “He is an innovative thinker and has been integral in the strategic planning processes that have guided the SFD mission. We are sad to see him go but know that he will continue to be an amazing automatic aid partner.”

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Glendale finds its next fire chief across town in Scottsdale