The City of Bedford has chosen Bill Walker as the next Fire Chief after a thorough search and interview process. With more than 30 years in the fire service, Walker comes to Bedford from Santa Monica, California where he has served as Fire Chief since 2016. His first day with the City of Bedford will be Monday, June 14.
“On behalf of myself, the City Council, and everyone at City Hall, I would like to welcome Chief Bill Walker to Texas,” said Bedford Mayor Michael Boyter. “He will be bringing his vast experience and leadership to the Fire Department as we continue to raise our standards in all aspects of our service to the residents of Bedford.”
Chief Walker began as a private EMT and paramedic before being hired by the Fountain Valley Fire Dept. in Orange County, California in 1991. There, he rose through the ranks and was promoted to Fire Chief in 2006. After serving as Chief in Fountain Valley for five years, he was hired as Fire Chief for the City of Alhambra, California. During his time in Alhambra, he was elected to the Los Angeles Area Fire Chiefs Association board and served as president in 2016.
“I am truly excited to join the Bedford Fire Department,” said Chief Walker. “I know Bedford has achieved a Class 1 ISO rating and Best Practices designation from the Texas Fire Chief’s Association, and I plan to follow that path of organizational excellence. After watching several City Council meetings, I am very impressed with the City Council’s goals and direction. I want to thank City Manager Jimmy Stathatos for giving me this opportunity and am proud to be joining the Bedford team.”
During his time as Fire Chief in Santa Monica, Walker had the opportunity to work on several large projects. He partnered with the UCLA Medical Center to establish a Mobile Stroke Unit, oversaw the construction of a new fire station, and coordinated the complete seismic retrofit of an existing fire station. Walker holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from the University of Southern California. He has also graduated from the FEMA Emergency Management Institute’s National Emergency Management Advanced Academy.
“It was clear from the beginning that Chief Walker had what it takes to lead the Bedford Fire Department,” said Bedford City Manager Jimmy Stathatos. “He is passionate about the fire service, is an experienced leader, and wants to make a positive difference in the Department, City of Bedford, and region.”
The City started the search for the next Fire Chief in March; Walker was selected from among 34 applicants and 10 states. Interim Chief Joey Lankford, who has served the Bedford Fire Department for 41 years, will return to his role as Fire Marshal upon Chief Walker’s arrival.