After 30 years in the firefighting industry, San Luis Obispo’s fire chief has announced his retirement.
Garret Olson has been with the San Luis Obispo City Fire Department since 2012. He started as the city’s first ever deputy chief and was promoted to fire chief a year later.
"Our community has been incredibly fortunate to have a leader such as Garret, who has made immeasurable contributions to the safety of our community, and the sophistication of our department," said City Manager Derek Johnson in a press release. "I couldn’t be more pleased with how the department has evolved and the leadership Garret has demonstrated. With the recent completion of the Five-Year Strategic Plan, I feel confident in the future of the Department."
Olson began his fire service career in 1988, reportedly as a paid-call firefighter with the Orange County Fire Department.
From there, he spent time with the Long Beach Fire Department serving as a 911 dispatcher before heading to the Mesa Fire Department where he worked his way up to deputy fire chief.
He spent nine years in Scottsdale, Ariz. before coming to San Luis Obispo.
"Serving this community has been the opportunity of a lifetime," said Fire Chief Olson in a press release. "While I wish we had discovered SLO earlier in our lives, I believe my wife and I have an unsurpassed appreciation for this amazing community… I leave this long and wonderful career with a heart full of gratitude. It has been an incredible honor to serve. I look forward too many years of enjoying and giving back."
Olson’s last day on the job will be Oct. 30.
Deputy Fire Chief Keith Aggson will serve as interim fire chief while the City of San Luis Obispo works to hire Olson’s permanent replacement.