Surprise promotes assistant fire chief to rank of chief

Oct 11, 2022, 4:25 AM
(City of Surprise Photo)...
(City of Surprise Photo)
(City of Surprise Photo)

PHOENIX — Surprise Fire-Medical Department Chief Tom Abbott is retiring Friday, and the city is promoting from within.

Assistant Fire Chief Brenden Espie will take the rank of chief Saturday after spending 21 years in the department in roles such as fire captain and battalion chief.

“I am honored and excited to assume the role of Fire Chief,” Espie said in a press release. “I understand the responsibility that comes with this position, and I am ready to serve the City and the residents to the best of my ability.

“I will always put the public’s safety first. My top priority will be expanding our ambulance service and strategically adding fire stations to ensure the department can adequately keep up with service demands in the developing areas of the city.”

Espie joined the department in 2001 as a firefighter and has served as assistant chief for the past seven years.

Before his time in the Surprise Fire-Medical Department, Espie spent five years in the United States Air Force working firefighting and aviation crash recovery.

He previously graduated from Grand Canyon University.

“For more than two decades, he has shown excellence in leadership, innovation, planning and fiscal responsibility,” Surprise City Manager Bob Wingenroth said in the release.

“He understands the importance of strong relationships and inspires teamwork and pride of work. I am confident that Brenden’s success and dedication will continue in this new role, and I am excited for the future of our fire-medical department.”

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Surprise promotes assistant fire chief to rank of chief