In a dramatic and moving ceremony right at the top of the recent City Council meeting, our new fire chief, Paul Riddle, was sworn in with family , friends and a packed crowd looking on. A beaming Chief Riddle took the oath of office in front of the crowd, which included many fire chiefs, gathered to witness it. Laguna Fire Chief and former South Pasadena Fire Chief, Kirk Summers, conducted the ceremony and presented Riddle with the promotional badge. It’s customary for a former Fire Chief to perform this honor and Summers called Riddle “one of the best of the best, you couldn’t have picked a better man for the job” and went on to speak about Chief Riddle’s beginnings with SPFD and his long career including serving as Engineer, Captain, Battalion Chief and Deputy Chief. Read more about our new Fire Chief here https://southpasadenan.com/new-fire-chief-paul-riddle/.
The new chief received a standing ovation from the council and the crowd, afterwhich very proud wife, Lynn, pinned the new badge on her husband. Chief Riddle said, “I don’t know if I have the words to express how honored I am to take over as the 17th Fire Chief in the 110 year history of this fire department,” he went on to thank and acknowledge his loving and supportive partner of 25 years and high school sweetheart, his wife, Lynn and his daughters Jami and Jessica and son-in-law, Tyler.
“I would not be where I am today without the love and support of my family,” said Riddle, “we’ve heard it said that behind every successful person is a loving and supportive partner. I’ve kind of grown to disagree with that over the years. What’s held true in my life is that my wife Lynn has never been behind me; she’s always been right beside me or in front of me blazing the trail telling me ‘you got this’.”
Riddle thanked all of his colleagues, past and present, who came out to support him and said to his current firefighters, “I couldn’t be more proud of our department. Our department has been through a tremendous amount of change in terms of leadership in the past four and a half years. To put it into perspective, I will be taking over as the sixth Fire Chief in just over four and a half years.” He explained how distracting that can be and he commended the firefighters for never compromising their mission to deliver the highest level of customer service in terms of fire and paramedics services to this community and surrounding cities.”
Riddle closed by saying that he knows we have challenges ahead of us but he feels confident that as a city, as a department and as a community, collectively, we will meet those challenges.
Speaking with Chief Riddle later, he reflected, “it was humbling. I was honored that so many of my colleagues from the past were there to show support. It truly speaks to the fraternity of fire service. It was very nice.”
We are in very good hands, South Pasadena.