Incoming Fall City Fire Chief Brian Culp brings with him more than three decades of experience from his time as a firefighter in New Mexico.
Culp started his journey as a junior firefighter in 1989 at the age of 13 in New Mexico. While he wasn’t allowed to do a lot at such a young age, it started him down the path of fighting fires, which is a family tradition. His father, grandfather and uncle were all involved in the fire service on the East Coast as volunteer firefighters.
He continued working as a firefighter as an adult and became a deputy fire marshal for Valencia County, just south of Albuquerque. He worked at several different counties in the state, but ended up retiring as the fire chief of Valencia County after 21 years of service as a professional firefighter. At that time, he oversaw four fire districts, comprised of eight stations and 100 personnel.
After he retired, Culp and his wife decided to move to Washington state to be closer to his wife’s father.
“Fall City to me is kind of a great fit for me in having one station and a smaller department that I can really concentrate on the training needs and the progression needs within the station,” Culp said. “But also be truly part of a smaller community, and be part of the community as the district fire chief.”
Culp has been working with retiring chief Chris Connor, whose last day was Feb. 26. The two had an overlapping month on the job.
Continuing training, quality of service on medical and fire calls and good response times are Culp’s priorities as fire chief. He’s also hoping that once the coronavirus pandemic winds down, he will be able to get out and meet more of the community.
“I have a very open door if the community needs to get ahold of the fire department, or wants to talk with me. I’m always there and open to that interaction,” he said.
Coming on board during a pandemic presents a unique set of challenges too. One of his top priorities is making sure there isn’t an outbreak among firefighters and personnel.
Culp said he’s been welcomed by the community, and is excited to work with the department and in the Snoqualmie Valley.
“I definitely have enjoyed the move up to Washington,” he said. “And it’s a very beautiful state and especially this area.”
The Fall City Fire Department, which serves King county Fire District 27, is the responding department for some 6,200 people in and around Fall City. It serves 22 square miles in the Valley.