Camano Fire found its new chief.
The Board of Fire Commissioners on March 11 unanimously approved hiring Burlington Fire Chief Levon Yengoyan to take the helm at Camano Island Fire & Rescue after chief Michael Schick resigned in January. Yengoyan starts May 1.
“We’re pretty excited about it,” Commission chairman Paul Williams said. “We think he has the right passion for the job and for the island.”
Yengoyan, a Camano Island resident, spent nearly two decades with CIFR, including as an assistant chief, until being hired as the Burlington chief in July 2016.
“My biggest goal is to sit down and hear from the stakeholders, the community, the firefighters to help set up the department for long-term vision,” Yengoyan said of his 100-day plan. “Nothing’s broken, Camano Fire is not in distress, it’s about continuing to improve.”
When Schick resigned Jan. 14 after more than four years on the job, CIFR officials said they expected to use a hiring firm for a three-to-six month process of finding a new chief. But Williams said when Yengoyan expressed interest, the board knew they had their man.
The two fire departments serve a similarly sized region — Camano Island Fire and Rescue serves 45 square miles of the island, and the Burlington Fire Department serves 32 square miles.
“Everything seemed to click,” Williams said. “His forte is working with people, and we were impressed with his ability and his planning.”
Yengoyan moved to Camano Island in 1998 and started with CIFR as a volunteer.
“One of the things I missed was serving in the community in which I lived,” he said. “This department is so closely tied with the community. … It’s going to be an interesting, exciting job.”