Surprise Fire-Medical Department Assistant Chief Brenden Espie will be promoted to the rank of chief on Oct. 15, following more than 21 years of service to the city.
Espie’s promotion comes with the upcoming retirement of current Chief Tom Abbott on Oct. 14.
“Brenden is passionate about public safety and serving this city,” City Manager Bob Wingenroth said. “For more than two decades, he has shown excellence in leadership, innovation, planning and fiscal responsibility. He understands the importance of strong relationships and inspires teamwork and pride of work. I am confident that Brenden’s success and dedication will continue in this new role, and I am excited for the future of our fire-medical department.”
Espie began his service to the Surprise Fire-Medical Department in 2001, starting as a firefighter and rising the ranks to fire captain, battalion chief and assistant chief – a role he has held for the last seven years. He has been instrumental in many major department initiatives, including the Public Safety Master Plan, accreditation with the Commission on Fire Accreditation International, development and operation of the city’s ambulance program and planning for future Surprise fire station locations.
“I am honored and excited to assume the role of fire chief,” Espie said. “I understand the responsibility that comes with this position, and I am ready to serve the city and the residents to the best of my ability. I will always put the public’s safety first. My top priority will be expanding our ambulance service and strategically adding fire stations to ensure the department can adequately keep up with service demands in the developing areas of the city.”
Espie has a bachelor’s of public safety administration from Grand Canyon University, as well as a number of certifications in fire and emergency management. He started his career in the U.S. Air Force, where he served five years with a specialty in firefighting and aviation crash recovery before joining the Fire-Medical team in Surprise.