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City of Merced Fire Chief Derek Parker Announces Departure


The City of Merced this week announced the departure of Fire Chief Derek Parker, who has led the Merced Fire Department with dedication and distinction since 2021.

Chief Parker’s tenure has been marked by commitment to public safety, innovative strategies in firefighting and emergency response, and fostering a culture of excellence within the department. Under his leadership, the Merced Fire Department has consistently demonstrated its readiness to serve and protect the community.

Derek Parker

As Fire Chief, Chief Parker has 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 many of Parker’s 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.


City Manager Scott McBride conveyed his appreciation for Chief Parker’s significant contributions, emphasizing the fire department’s achievements under his leadership and thanked Chief Parker for his professionalism and dedication to serving the community.

The City of Merced will commence a search for a new Fire Chief to continue the legacy of excellence established under Chief Parker’s tenure.

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