Newark Fire Chief to Take Livermore-Pleasanton Helm in California

William Cody, a 25-year member of the Los Angeles Fire Department and assistant fire chief of Newark's department for the past three years, is the new chief of the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department.

Cody, a Livermore resident, was chosen from among 50 applicants to replace retiring chief Stewart Gary, who will stay on long enough for Cody to make the transition to leading the 100-member department, said Nelson Fialho, Pleasanton's city manager.

Cody is scheduled to start in Livermore on June 20.

Cody has a master's degree in education from Pepperdine University and a bachelor's in physical education from CSU Los Angeles.

What impressed Fialho, though, wasn't so much his college learning.

"He's an excellent manager of people and he's such a student of the firefighting profession," Fialho said. "He's a real pro, and that came through during the interviews."

In a statement released late Thursday, Livermore City Manager Linda Barton said, "(Cody) is well respected by all who have worked with him and brings a strong commitment to quality and integrity. As well, he has an intimate knowledge of both communities as a resident of Livermore."

During his 25 years with the Los Angeles department, Cody worked his way up from firefighter to battalion chief.

Of the 50 applicants to replace Gary -- who was named the Livermore Fire Department's chief in 1994 and oversaw the 1996 merger of the Livermore and Pleasanton departments -- eight were interviewed and two were finalists.

The committee that ultimately selected Cody included all department heads from both Livermore and Pleasanton.

A formal badge-pinning and swearing-in ceremony will be announced sometime in the next several weeks.

Distributed by the Associated Press