Cosumnes Deputy Fire Chief Mike McLaughlin will be sworn in as fire chief at a June 28 ceremony. He will succeed Tracey Hansen who is retiring this month.
“I’m incredibly excited for this great opportunity,” McLaughlin said. “It’s a great organization of people who are committed to the betterment of the community.”
He will lead a fire department that serves the Elk Grove and Galt communities, and provides mutual aid to neighboring areas.
Hansen is among three leaders in the Cosumnes Community Services District (CSD) who retired or plan to retire this year. Parks Administrator Bob Roessler retired in February and General Manager Jeff Ramos is leaving in November.
McLaughlin served as Merced’s fire chief for three years before he joined the Cosumnes Fire Department as a deputy fire chief in 2014.
He told the Citizen at the time that he wanted to work for either the Elk Grove or Galt fire departments when he started his career nearly 30 years ago. Those agencies later merged as the Cosumnes Fire Department in 2006.
McLaughlin’s career path took a diverse route that included work as a firefighter for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and as the only paid firefighter-paramedic for the Lake County town of Middletown.
McLaughlin told the Citizen in 2014 that if Middletown fire volunteers were not available during an emergency, he had to go alone in a rural town surrounded by 200 square miles of wilderness.
“If they didn’t respond, it’d just be me,” he said.
Asked how his experiences at other fire agencies shaped him, he replied that every agency is different.
“Just because I had success doesn’t mean I’ll be successful,” he said. “It takes hard work to continue to build on the successes and take on the challenges.”
McLaughlin’s promotion to Cosumnes fire chief was announced this January. The CSD board approved McLaughlin’s new contract that includes a $233,400 salary.
McLaughlin said that he now has “big shoes to fill” in succeeding Hansen who served in the Cosumnes Fire Department for 24 years. He wants to continue her practice of aiding neighboring communities in the Elk Grove region.
McLaughlin said that he wants to make sure his department has enough staff to serve a growing population; he mentioned that calls increased by 25 percent in the past three years.
There are also plans to build a fire station near Cosumnes River College’s Elk Grove Center at Poppy Ridge Road. McLaughlin said that the CSD has to first secure enough funding and personnel to staff the station.
Several recruits this spring graduated from the CSD’s fire academy and they were hired to fill staff vacancies and work in the Bond Road station’s paramedic team.
The promotion ceremony will be held at the Pavilion in Elk Grove Regional Park at 5 p.m. There will also be promotions for several battalion chiefs, captains, engineers, and a public education officer.