San Gabriel officials announced today that Derrick Doehler, former Deputy Chief and a 19-year veteran of the San Gabriel Fire Department, will be returning from retirement to become the city’s next Fire Chief.
Doehler, 50, is a former United States Army veteran who began his career with the San Gabriel Fire Department in 1997 as the station’s first fulltime firefighter/paramedic. Since joining the department, Doehler has held the rank of Captain, Division Chief and Deputy Chief before initially retiring in 2016.
“I’m happy to be back, and I’m extremely proud to serve the City of San Gabriel. For the past 26 years of my life, I’ve always waited for the next call to come in, and not having that sense of urgency during retirement proved to be a challenge,” Doehler said.
City Manager Steve Preston said that Doehler’s personal integrity propelled his candidacy for the position. “Chief Doehler has the respect of the staff, the City Council, the management team and myself. He has the blessing of former Chiefs Joe Nestor and Kirk Summers. It will be a pleasure to welcome Chief Doehler back,” Preston said.
Doehler succeeds Chief Mario D. Rueda as the city exits shared command, which sought to link the command staff of the San Gabriel, San Marino and South Pasadena Fire Departments. Chief Rueda remains the Fire Chief in neighboring San Marino.
"We want to thank Chief Rueda for his service," said Preston. "There were many challenges associated with the shared command model, but we appreciated Chief Rueda’s efforts.
Doehler will assume the position of Fire Chief effective immediately, and will begin assessing the station’s current vacancies moving forward.