Fire Chief Calvin Wells set to retire as city hunts for replacement
By André Coleman 06/25/2014
City officials have launched a nationwide search to replace Fire Chief Calvin Wells, who recently announced his retirement. Wells has held nearly every position in the department during his 35-year career.
“I have had a good run, we have been in business 135 years and I have been here for 35 years,” Wells said. “I am grateful that I have been able to fulfill my life’s dream, but it is time to move on to something else. I will still be active in the community.”
Wells began his career in Pasadena in 1979. He was the youngest recruit in the Pasadena Fire Department, which at that time hired 24 African-American firefighters in an effort to integrate the department. He served as firefighter, fire inspector, fire engineer, fire investigator, fire captain, battalion chief, assistant fire chief, fire bureau chief and deputy fire chief over a span of 32 years.
“I pretty much covered the full gambit by design,” Wells said. “You never want to be in a position where you are overseeing someone in a position if you have never been in their shoes, in my opinion. It was a slow, gradual climb, but a rewarding one.”
Wells has served as Fire Chief for the past seven years. He and his wife Rhanna live in Pasadena and have two children.
Last week city officials held two public meetings to acquire feedback from local residents. Local residents can leave feedback on the new fire chief until July 31 at cityofpasadena.net/Fire-Chief-Recruitment/.
“Calvin Wells has served the city of Pasadena as an outstanding firefighter for many years,” Mayor Bill Bogaard told the Weekly. “He extended his service at the city manager’s request to assure strong leadership in the department. I wish Calvin Wells the best that the future holds and thank him for his dedicated service.”