As South Pasadena’s 6th Fire Chief in the last four years, Paul Riddle intends to bring a stability to the department’s administration that has been lacking in recent history. Riddle took a major step forward for the SPFD last month when he recognized five firefighters for receiving promotions and five new firefighter/paramedic hires. November’s badge-pinning ceremony was the first in at least the past 26 years. Close to 50 family and friends attended the ceremony. The ceremony was intentionally small, so as to focus on those being celebrated. “We may build on this in the future and invite the public,” said the fire chief. “This year, since it was our first ceremony, we wanted to keep it simple.”
The department is now staffed with 21 men with extensive firefighting and paramedic experience. Just five years ago, the SPFD was down to 13 firefighters on staff. Currently, there are nine designated firefighter/paramedics, six engineers, three captains, two divisional chiefs, and one fire chief.