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City of Murrieta announces new fire chief

Murrieta Fire & Rescue Chief Bernard Molloy II. Photo provided by the City of Murrieta.

The City of Murrieta and Murrieta Fire & Rescue announced Bernard Molloy II as the department’s new fire chief. Molloy was officially appointed today and will be ceremoniously pinned at the April 5 Murrieta City Council meeting. He is the tenth chief in Murrieta Fire & Rescue’s 75-year history,

Molloy said it is an honor to be selected for this position and he looks forward to serving the community where he has spent so much of his life. “Today, I am excited to be joining an organization that is a leader in the fire service at delivering innovative public safety to the citizens they serve,” Malloy said.

“I believe that a community is better served by a team than by an individual, so I look forward to continuing to develop the incredible team we have here at Murrieta Fire & Rescue. We will move forward honoring the traditions we have in place while keeping our eyes firmly set on the future, ensuring we have a fire department that is ready for any emergencies Murrieta may face.”

Molloy comes to Murrieta as a division chief for the Lakeside Fire Protection District and has lived in Southwest Riverside County with his family for the past 20 years. Throughout his 22-year career, Molloy previously served as a firefighter/paramedic, engineer, captain, fire academy instructor, and division chief. He is experienced in fire department operations, budgeting, overseeing emergency medical services (EMS), as well as community risk reduction.

“With its impressive history and community-centric approach, Murrieta Fire & Rescue is an important part of this community,” Murrieta City Manager Kim Summers said. “It was essential that we found a highly experienced individual to continue leading the department into its next phase of service to Murrieta. Chief Molloy comes with a breadth of experience and an innovative approach to serving the community, which are both critical to the Murrieta Fire & Safety’s continued success,”

Molloy has a Master of Science in Emergency Services Management, is a National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer Program graduate, and holds a California State Fire Marshal Chief Officer Certification. In addition, Molloy has served as a hazardous materials first responder and a strike team leader. He has also been involved with firefighting organizations on a statewide level, including the California Fire Chiefs Association, San Diego County Emergency Medical Care Committee, and the San Diego County Fire Chiefs Association.

Murrieta Fire & Rescue will celebrate its 75th anniversary on April 16. It was on that day in 1947 that the citizens of Murrieta voted to form the Murrieta Fire Protection District. With $1,400 donated by the community, the Fire District purchased a 1941 International 4×4 crash truck. At the toll of a bell atop the Methodist Church, the 10 Fire District volunteers responded to six calls that first year.

In 1987, Murrieta Fire & Rescue changed from an all-volunteer fire district to a combined career and volunteer-staffed Fire District. In July 1990, it was the first fire department in Riverside County to implement the Emergency Medical Technician – Defibrillator (EMT-D). In August of 2018, Murrieta Fire & Rescue became the first accredited fire agency in Riverside County and the 18th in the state. The department now employs 62 sworn personnel and 11 administrative staff.

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