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Rick Vogt named new Fire Chief

Rick Vogt

Following the recent retirement of Chief Russ Knowles, Interim City Manager Jeffrey Epp has named Rick Vogt as the new Fire Chief for the City of Escondido.

Chief Vogt started with the City of Escondido in 2015 as the Division Chief for Training and EMS, and was promoted to Deputy Chief of Operations in 2016.

Chief Vogt’s career in fire services began over 30 years ago as a volunteer firefighter for the City of Palm Desert. He subsequently became a firefighter for the City of Temecula/Cal Fire, was appointed Station Captain for Riverside County/Cal Fire and served as Administrative and Field Battalion Chief for the City of San Marcos just prior to coming to the City of Escondido.

“Chief Vogt is the ideal candidate to continue the traditions of excellence, efficiency, integrity and outstanding public service that characterize the Escondido Fire Department,” said Interim City Manager Jeffrey Epp.

Chief Vogt will be focused on overseeing a smooth transition for the department, and maintaining its high standards of excellence in public safety and emergency services.

Monday, he told The Times-Advocate: “I’m excited for the opportunity to lead such an incredible department. I have been working both professionally and educationally for this opportunity and I’m blessed.”

Vogt said his vision and goals are “to continue the excellent tradition and innovation that the Escondido fire department is known for. Our slogan is ‘legendary service’ and that absolutely will not change but be enhanced.”

The chief said that what is important from his perspective “is leadership development in our department in all levels and strong collaboration internally with other city departments, with other departments in our region and with community groups.”

He added, “The greatest opportunity that I have is to serve the men and women of the department by helping to develop not just their technical skills but leadership development, to make sure that the department is set up for decades to come.”

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