Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Gilroy: SJFD retiree hired as interim fire chief

Gilroy: San Jose firefighter to replace interim chief who resigned after underage booze bust


GILROY -- The city of Gilroy has hired a retired San Jose firefighter to serve as its interim fire chief, replacing the previous acting chief who resigned earlier this month after a police sting caught him trying to buy alcohol for an underage decoy.

Alan Anderson, who retired last year as a battalion chief for the San Jose Fire Department, stepped into the Gilroy post Tuesday, according to a news release from City Administrator Tom Haglund. Anderson, who also served in Union City and for the statewide Cal Fire, will receive a monthly salary of $14,525 and is expected to help the city look for a permanent chief to succeed Dale Foster, who retired in August.

The city announcement made no mention of the fact that Gilroy's previous interim chief, Fremont resident Roger Bloom, resigned Sept. 10 after he was issued a misdemeanor citation in Live Oak for agreeing to buy beer for a 20-year-old man working for Santa Cruz County authorities. The undercover operation, known commonly as a shoulder-tapping sting, is aimed at curbing underage drinking and also targets merchants who illicitly sell alcohol.

Haglund's statement focused on the strengths he said Anderson brings to the city as the new interim fire chief, lauding his seasoned firefighting background, communication skills, and, in what some might view as a veiled reference to the recent scandal, Anderson's personal ethics.

"Chief Anderson brings excellent administrative, emergency management and fire ground experience to the position, having served at three different fire agencies over the course of his 30-year career," Haglund said.

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