City hires new Chief of Fire and Emergency Services

December 20, 2018

The City of Gresham has appointed Mitch Snyder to the position of Chief of Gresham Fire and Emergency Service following a national search. Long-time Chief Greg Matthews announced his retirement earlier this year, after decades of service in the Gresham Fire and Emergency Services Department and Gresham Police Department.

Snyder is a career firefighter with 35 years of experience who has served through the ranks of firefighter, lieutenant, captain and battalion chief. Most recently, he served as Division Chief with the Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority, where he implemented their mobile integrated health program to address the growing volume of emergency medical calls. Through his leadership, the Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority is now positioned to strengthen services for residents with frequent 911 needs while also realizing operational efficiencies.

“Chief Snyder has a history of building strong community partnerships, thrives in a change-driven and inventive environment and leads with honor and respect,” said Superintendent of Public Safety Corey Falls. “I’m pleased to welcome him to the City of Gresham.”

Snyder began his career as a volunteer firefighter and then pursued firefighter academy training. Originally, he worked as a firefighter at Kent Fire Department, which in 1985 included five stations and 40 uniformed personnel. In the ensuing years, Kent Fire merged with other agencies to form the Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority and now serves approximately a 120-square-mile area, includes 13 stations and roughly 300 uniformed personnel. This has provided Snyder with a diverse range of fire situation experiences to draw upon ranging from urban, suburban, rural and wildland environments. He is a certified EMT and for most of his career was assigned to the busiest station in the district, where more than 66% of calls were medical emergencies.

“I am excited to be a part of the Gresham Fire and Emergency Services team. I look forward to working with the community, the Fire and Emergency Services Department, and the City organization to capitalize on opportunities and continue building a world class fire department,” said Snyder.

Snyder’s first day at Gresham Fire and Emergency Services will be January 7.