City announces new fire chief to replace Mike DuRee • Long Beach Post

City officials on Monday announced that Xavier Espino, who has served in the department since 1986, will take over as chief on Oct. 6.

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Espino will replace Mike DuRee, who announced in August his retirement after 24 years with the department.

Espino has “risen through the ranks at the Long Beach Fire Department and has proudly served our community for over three decades,” City Manager Pat West said in a statement. “We look forward to our soon-to-be chief leading the dedicated women and men of our fire department.”

Espino, currently assistant chief, is a second-generation firefighter, the city said in a statement. His father retired as a captain with the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Prior to becoming assistant chief, Espino served as a firefighter/paramedic, captain and battalion chief.

Among his achievements: He has served a role in designing, operating and managing the first dual fire academy in department’s history; and he served as fire boat program manager and helped design two new fire boats and train firefighters.

Espino said he was “blessed” to be hired by the fire department 32 years ago and enjoyed a career in which co-workers quickly became like family.

“I am honored and humbled at the opportunity to lead the tremendous men and women of the Long Beach Fire Department,” he said in a statement.

Espino, a Southern California native, earned his bachelor’s degree in occupational studies from Cal State Long Beach.

He has been married to his wife Colleen for 30 years and has two adult children.

Melissa Evans is the managing editor of the Long Beach Post. Reach her at [email protected], @melissaevansLBP or 562-437-5814.

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