Featured Speaker – Chief Brad Thompson, Valley Regional Fire Authority

After graduating from Gonzaga University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Thompson spent eight years in private industry. Although he enjoyed a successful career, he felt something was missing. When a friend introduced him to the fire service, Thompson discovered a life’s work that would allow him to apply his formal education, life experience, and foundational values. Soon after hiring on with the Auburn Fire Department in April 1999, he knew he had made the best decision for himself and his family.

Early in his career, Thompson set out to gain experience in all areas of the fire service. He joined the Public Information and Education team, the Health and Wellness team and served on a fire station design committee. After promoting to Captain in 2011, Chief Thompson served as a shift captain on the Medical Program Specialist team and the Technical Rescue Team. He then spent three years as the Planning Captain in the Planning and Logistics Division. Thompson says, “These experiences have shown me how important every workgroup is to efficient service delivery and the organization’s overall success.”

In 2018, Thompson was promoted to Battalion Chief. While working on shift, he completed the nationally accredited University of Washington Certified Public Manager program. Thompson accepted the Deputy Chief of Operations position in 2019. He used his experience and education to improve communication and develop succession planning initiatives while overseeing emergency response, training, the JATC program, and promotional processes. “Deputy Chief Thompson has demonstrated great leadership in this role.

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