David Washington, Retired Las Vegas Fire and Rescue Department Chief
After 33 years of service, David Washington retired as fire chief department director for Las Vegas Fire & Rescue. Washington was the city’s first Black fire chief. He guided the department to many major accomplishments with the assistance of what he refers to as an exceptional staff. With respect to achievements, Las Vegas Fire & Rescue retained its Insurance Services Office (ISO) Class One as well as became an accredited agency by the Center for Public Safety Excellence. After attaining these two achievements, it made the department only one of eight in the world to hold these two prestigious certifications at the same time. Once fire chief, Washington ensured that the safety of firefighters was a top priority by requiring that all new assistant chiefs became certified safety officers. The department was able to construct six new fire stations as well as increase the departments overall staffing and reduce response times.
Washington continued to be proud of the fact that they were able to establish the Las Vegas Fire & Rescue Foundation, which provides funds in the form of gift cards in $20 increments to firefighters who respond to the home of individuals who are in need due to the destruction of fire or some other emergency. Another humanitarian initiative is the Safe Place program which allows any child under the age of eighteen a safe haven at any fire station if they find themselves under threat by any person. During an exit presentation before the City Council, Washington expressed his exuberance in having been given the opportunity to serve the community. Regarding his community work, Washington has been involved in many community organizations such as the National Forum for Black Public Administrators, I Have A Dream Foundation, Camp Brotherhood/Sisterhood, Carl Holmes Executive Development Institute, Communities in Schools, United Way of Southern Nevada, New Ventures Certified Development Company, Black Business Council of Nevada, Economic Opportunity Board and many more.
During the next chapter of life, Washington has written a book entitled “The Power of P’s”. Additionally, he plans to become a substitute schoolteacher on the West Side. Finally, Washington is a 65-year resident of the Las Vegas community. He and his high school sweetheart Maria have four adult children and ten grandchildren.