FAIRFIELD — When Fire Chief Vince Webster was younger, his father always told him to find a job with good benefits where he could stay for a while.
Webster did just that.
“He was old-fashioned. He said, ‘Find a job with good benefits. When you get a job, look ahead,’ ” Webster said. “The first job I really wanted to do and figured I could be here a while was the fire department.”
Webster will step down in April as chief, marking 30 years to the month he started as a 20-year-old.
“I’m thankful for the career and thankful for the privilege to serve the city for all those years,” he said.
Webster was appointed chief in May 2008 after previously serving as Fairfield’s deputy fire chief for seven years. During that time, he worked on loan with the Rio Vista Fire Department as the interim fire chief.
Before arriving to the Fairfield department as a battalion chief, Webster logged more than two decades with the Sausalito Fire Department.
City Manager Sean Quinn made the announcement Monday, citing Webster’s commitment to heading up a critical part of public safety for the residents of Fairfield.
“Chief Webster has served honorably as our fire chief since 2008, and has been an integral member of Fairfield’s leadership team. We will miss him tremendously,” Quinn said in a release.
Webster said his involvement in public safety and other organizations will keep him active in the area. He teaches fire technology courses at his alma mater, Solano Community College. He also hinted that there may be a temporary job or two with a fire department that may call his name at some point.
“I call it retiring, but it’s more of a transition. I’m sure I’ll pop up part time somewhere,” he said. “I’m not going to take off and go live in the mountains or anything.”
Webster was active in touting the merits of Mesaure P, a 1 percent sales tax that voters approved in November. Fire will likely receive a portion of those funds to stay solvent. Webster said he pushed hard for the measure as a chief and a resident.
“I’m leaving on a positive note with the measure passing. It’s a good time for the Fire Department and the leadership to start planning for the future,” he said. “Being a longtime resident of Fairfield, it meant a lot to me personally.”
Reach Danny Bernardini at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dbernardinidr.