Mayor Kelli Linville announced on Monday she is appointing Assistant Fire Chief Bill Hewett as Interim Bellingham Fire Chief, effective March 16. Current Fire Chief Bill Newbold is retiring effective Friday, March 15.
Chief Bill Hewett grew up in Bellingham and got his start in the fire service as a volunteer firefighter in Whatcom County. He was hired by the Bellingham Fire Department in 2013 as part of a consolidation with Fire District 8, where he was serving as Assistant Fire Chief.
Over the last 28 years, Hewett has been involved in many different aspects of the fire service, including operations, training, dispatch, code enforcement, and fire investigation. He currently serves as the Assistant Fire Chief of Operations overseeing the daily operation of eight stations, the fire dispatch center, and approximately 165 personnel.
Mayor Linville said she is appointing Hewett as interim chief to allow the next mayor to have the opportunity to hire a permanent chief.
“Working with Bill Hewett over the past several years, I have been impressed with his experience and breadth of knowledge," Mayor Linville said. “We are sorry to see Chief Newbold go, but the department will be in good hands with Chief Hewett."