Wilson named Interim Fire Chief

Transition comes after Chief Parker steps down

Merced City Manager Scott McBride announced this week the appointment of Casey Wilson as the city’s Interim Fire Chief.

Wilson will oversee administrative services for the Merced Fire Department during a transitional period while the city conducts a search for a new fire chief.

“Interim Chief Wilson brings solid experience to this role, having served this community in all ranks within the organization, including five years in a chief officer role,” McBride said. “With a proven track record of dedication to public safety and commitment to excellence, Wilson is well-positioned to lead the Merced Fire Department during this critical transition.”

Late last week, the city revealed that Fire Chief Derek Parker was stepping down from the department after three years of service. Parker said he was resigning to take an assistant chief position with the Sacramento Fire Department.

In his role as Interim Fire Chief, Wilson will provide strategic direction and guidance to the department, ensuring the continued delivery of high-quality fire and emergency services to the residents of Merced. He will work closely with city officials, department personnel, and community stakeholders to maintain operational efficiency and foster a culture of collaboration and innovation within the department.

“I am honored to step in at this time to ease the transition of leadership,” Wilson said. “I look forward to supporting the momentum of the Department’s strategic plan. I am committed to upholding the mission of protecting life, property, and the environment through prevention, education, and emergency response. I look forward to working closely with the dedicated men and women of the Merced Fire Department as we continue to serve and safeguard our community.”

The City of Merced will also launch a comprehensive search for a new fire chief. Details regarding the recruitment process and timeline will be announced in the coming weeks.

Interim Chief Wilson, a Merced native and graduate of Le Grand High School and Merced College, resides locally with his wife, Tiffany, and their three children. His strong ties to the community and educational background reinforce his dedication to guiding the Merced Fire Department through this important transition, prioritizing the safety and welfare of our community.

With regard to Chief Parker tenure in Merced, his service was marked by commitment to public safety, innovative strategies in firefighting and emergency response, and fostering a culture of excellence within the department.

Chief Parker played a pivotal role in enhancing emergency preparedness, implementing advanced training programs for firefighters, and strengthening collaborative partnerships with local agencies to ensure the highest level of service delivery to the residents of Merced.

Among his achievements:
  • $4 million in funding from State Assemblymember Esmeralda Soria for a new fire station and emergency operations center in response to the critical need for enhanced emergency services. The comprehensive facility will house a fire station and integrate a police department substation to serve as an Emergency Operations Center for the entire region.
  • $3 million in funding from Senator Anna Caballero for the Hawk Regional Training Center, a regional fire academy and public safety training facility that will include firefighter, rescue, and emergency response education.
  • $9 million in a SAFER grant from FEMA for the hiring of 24 additional firefighters, bringing the department up to four-person engine crews.
  • Coordinated the city’s planning and response efforts during the January and March 2023 flood events.
MercedMerced County
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