No more rungs to climb: Aberdeen interim fire chief promoted to top spot

He’s been with the department since before the turn of the century.

Dave Golding has been confirmed as chief of the Aberdeen Fire Department, summitting a steady climb through the ranks of the department that began in 1998.

Golding has been acting as a interim chief since the retirement of Chief Tom Hubbard earlier this year.

“(There will be) no big changes to start with,” Golding said in a phone interview. “We’ll start to ease into things and get our feet back underneath of us since it’s been a while since Chief Hubbard retired.”

[Harbor Resort burns to the ground]

Born and raised in Raymond, Golding first took a volunteer firefighter position in Raymond in 1986. Working in Raymond, South Beach and elsewhere in the state, he joined the AFD in 1998. Golding will now lead the department, following a formal ratification by the city council on Nov. 22.

“The main focus of the chief is the administrative oversight of the department and ensuring operational readiness. Not just Aberdeen Fire, but working with other agencies,” Golding said. “Ensuring a good, robust response to emergencies as they happen.”

There are three main priorities, Golding said: the Regional Fire Authority, recruitment and retention, and new facilities.

“Those are our top three action items,” Golding said. “It’ll be me working with the crews to get their involvement and their perspective on how we move forward.”

The RFA involves working with other cities, including Hoquiam and Cosmopolis, to pool their resources under a single organization, improving capability and making operations more efficient.

“The RFA’s something that’s been on the radar for the last couple of years,” Golding said. “It’s an avenue for us to combine the three departments to streamline our fire ops and EMS ops regionally, and really create a sustainable product for the future.”

New facilities includes work the department has already done towards planning for a new station.

“We’ve started the process. We’ve gone through the needs assessment,” Golding said. “We’ve gone through Phase 2, which is the conceptual design process.”

Now the department is identifying where to build a potential new station, how to structure it, and how to fund it, Golding said.

Now that he’s vacated the assistant chief’s position, there could be a slew of promotions to fill positions in AFD, Golding said.

“We’ll have to go through a process to fill the assistant chief’s position. There’ll be an internal process initially to see if anyone’s interested,” Golding said. “If that happens, that’ll create a cascade effect throughout the department.”

Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or