Mark Gillaspie named new fire chief

Downey Fire Department veteran Mark Gillaspie has been named the city's new fire chief, effective Aug. 4 when current chief Lonnie Croom retires. Gillaspie has spent his entire career in Downey, starting as a volunteer auxiliary firefighter. He was hired as a full-time firefighter in 1989.

He was promoted to fire engineer in 1995 and was made a captain in 1998. He was a chief officer with Downey Fire for 14 years, and was promoted to assistant fire chief in 2011.

"The appointment of Chief Gillaspie, a fine product of Downey's fire department, is indicative of our continued trust in our dedicated men and women who serve in the department," Councilman Roger Brossmer said in a statement.

"Chief Gillaspie's diverse administrative experience, including management of the department's special operations, disaster preparedness, training program and communications division, will provide the city with solid leadership to preserve the reputation of the city of Downey's fire department," added Mayor Fernando Vasquez.

Gillaspie's promotion to fire chief was unanimously approved by the City Council on Tuesday night.