A veteran Vallejo firefighter of 25 years has been named the department's second in command. Mark Sharpe, 55, was promoted Monday to deputy fire chief, a position eliminated in 2008 during the city's bankruptcy crisis. The City Council approved reinstating the position late last year. Sharpe was chosen from 37 candidates in a "nationwide" search. The process began in mid-December, Interim Fire Chief Ron Prince said. "Mark prevailed in the process," Prince said. "He's earned it." Two other Vallejo firefighters also applied, he said. In the final round, Sharpe and two other finalists were evaluated by assessors from Los Angeles, San Francisco and a couple of former area fire chiefs, Prince added. Sharpe joined the department when he was 28 and has since served as a firefighter, fire inspector, fire captain and battalion chief. Most recently he was the department's training officer. "I've had 25 years of experience... I think I've had a very well-rounded training," Sharpe said. "I've been through the good, the bad and the not-so-pleasant."
A homegrown Vallejoan, Sharpe graduated from Hogan High School and earned a Bachelor of Science with honors in business management from the University of Phoenix in 2006.