KINGSBURG – After more than 35 years of keeping Kingsburg and the surrounding area safe from fires, Fire Chief Tim Ray is retiring. His final official day will be Dec. 28.
Ray said he'll recall his longevity of service and working with his father for decades in his service to the community.
"I'm most proud of being able to serve our community working for the same department for my entire career and being able to work side by side with my dad for 26 years. What I'll miss the most is the people: the ones I work with and the ones I work for."
City Manager Alex Henderson said Chief Ray has been a wonderful asset and that he leaves the fire department in outstanding shape with regards to equipment and staff.
“Our community has been incredibly fortunate to have such a dedicated leader for over 30 years. Chief Ray has given over half his life in service to the City of Kingsburg and the Fire Department. With recent equipment upgrades and new hires stemming from the passing of Measure E, I am confident in the future of the department.”
Chief Ray first joined the Kingsburg Fire Department as a non-paid volunteer in 1986 and became a paid volunteer in 1987. He also worked as a Tulare County Fire Department firefighter/EMT at that time. In 1989, he was hired as a city’s first full-time firefighter/paramedic.
He’s served in a number of capacities over the decades for the Kingsburg Fire Department, from fire investigator, lieutenant paramedic, fire captain to assistant chief, before he was promoted to fire chief in 2011.
Achievements in his career have included securing grants to hire full-time staff, acquire new equipment and numerous vehicles for both ambulance and fire services.
Chief Ray is a member of the California Fire Chief’s Association and the International Fire Chief’s Association. He is currently the president of the Central Valley Fire Chief’s Association. He became a certified fire officer and chief fire officer with the California State Fire Marshall’s Office and graduated from the National Fire Academy as an executive fire officer.
Ray worked as a paramedic for the Sequoia Safety Council for 25 years and was awarded the Per Diem Paramedic of the Year award several times. He was named the Employee of the Year in 2014. He was also awarded Tulare County’s Firefighter of the year in 1987 and the Kingsburg
Chamber of Commerce’s Safety Employee of the Year.
Chief Ray is the son of Larry Ray who served as a volunteer firefighter/EMT for 44 years with the Kingsburg Fire Department. The department’s Memorial Scholarship Fund has been named after Larry Ray.
The City of Kingsburg will name an interim before launching its recruitment for a full-time chief.