A little over seven months after the retirement of Blythe City Fire’s Chief Billy Kem, the volunteer firefighters now have a new leader helming the department – 29-year veteran Ronnie Hasler.
The Blythe City Council formally approved and authorized to enter into an agreement with Hasler for the position of Fire Chief on Sept. 8.
“I’m normally never at a loss for words. I would like to thank the city council for giving me the honor of representing the Blythe Fire Department and the city of Blythe. As you can obviously tell, I have a group of the greatest firefighters that a man would ever want to work with and to lead,” said Hasler. “I appreciate you giving me that honor, and I will do the absolute best that I can. Thank you very much.”
As noted in the staff report, assistant chief Ronnie Blackwood served as the acting chief following Kem’s retirement.
“In July, the City initiated an in-house recruitment for the position of Fire Chief. Fire Captain Ronnie Hasler was the successful candidate,” states the staff report. “(Hasler) has served in the position of Captain since 2006. The term of the agreement is three years and includes a monthly stipend of $1,500 per month.”
In previous years, Hasler served as a promoter at the Colorado River Fairgrounds’ Lucas Oil I-10 Speedway.
In July of 2008, Hasler earned a Black Belt (1st Degree) from the Worldwide Alliance of Martial Artists and Karate Pros Black Belt Academy.
More recently, Hasler – local business owner of Blythe Freeway Towing – took the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) position over on June 1 for the Colorado River Fairgrounds following the retirement of Bruce Wilson.