Rex Strickland couldn’t be further from home.
Coming from a county in Virginia whose eastern edge rubs against the nation’s capital, the Spokane Fire Department’s newest deputy fire chief is used to the rain. Lots of rain. And the people. Even more of them.
That means he’s also acclimated to a bit more action than he’ll get in the other Washington’s second biggest city. With 29 years of service under his belt at Fairfax County Fire and Rescue, he cut his teeth from the formative age of 16 to an early retirement at 45, where he served a population of 1.1 million people inside an area one-third the size of Rhode Island.
Now, in the second half of his fire-centric career, he’ll lead training and safety for all new – and current – firefighters in the Lilac City.
“So far, I love it,” Strickland said of his first week on the job. “It’s all dramatically different than the East Coast.”