Glendale has a new fire chief.
The city Monday afternoon announced that Ryan Freeburg, Scottsdale’s assistant fire chief for the past 10 years, is the new chief for Glendale’s Fire Department. He succeeds Terry Garrison, who in June stepped into retirement after seven years as Glendale’s chief and a 45-year overall firefighting career.
Freeburg arrives in Glendale as a seasoned firefighter and leader with 26 years of fire service experience.
“I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead the Glendale Fire Department and to serve residents,” Freeburg shared in a news release. “The men and women of the Glendale Fire Department are recognized for their bravery and dedication with protecting lives and properties in our community. Under my leadership, we will continue to build a culture of professionalism, innovation and accountability.”
Glendale’s fire chief directs the administrative and managerial staff involved in the daily operations of the department, according to the city. The chief sets goals, policies, procedures, and represents the city in relationships with outside agencies as well as with community groups and the public.
The city held a national search for this position, and Freeburg was selected from a field of top candidates from across the country.
“Public safety is a key service we provide and Ryan’s experience matches well with how we respond to those important calls we get from people who need help with a fire or medical emergency,” Glendale City Manager Kevin Phelps stated. “He knows the automatic aid system and already has good relationships with other fire chiefs and stakeholders in the area. His experience in Scottsdale with the WM Phoenix Open and Barrett Jackson special events shows that he understands the complex planning and dedication of resources needed for NFL games, large concerts, NCAA Men’s Final Fours and Super Bowls that Glendale hosts.”
Freeburg was drafted by the Colorado Rockies following his time at Grand Canyon University. He spent three seasons in the Rockies minor league system before transitioning from the ball field to the firehouse.
He says it was the team camaraderie aspect of sports that he enjoyed most, according to the city announcement, and that being able to be part of a public safety team plus serving a mission bigger than himself was what drew him to the fire service.
Freeburg spent the early years of his career as a field firefighter, first joining Rural Metro Corporation in 1996 as a reserve firefighter before becoming a full-time firefighter and paramedic. He developed a deep understanding of the fire service and emergency response models and would later receive a promotion to captain.
At that time, Rural Metro Corporation was the primary fire service provider contracted with the city of Scottsdale. When the city created its own municipal fire department in 2005, Freeburg became a charter member of Scottsdale’s team. While there, he rose through the ranks, serving as battalion chief and deputy chief before becoming assistant chief.
Freeburg holds a Master of Arts degree in Organizational Management from University of Phoenix, a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Safety Administration from Grand Canyon University, an Associate of Science degree in Advanced EMT from Scottsdale Community College and an Associate of Science degree in Fire Science from Scottsdale Community College.
Freeburg’s first day as Glendale’s Fire Chief is Monday, Oct. 10.