York City Fire Chief David Michaels retiring

York City Fire Chief David Michaels on scene of a fire at 804 Pennsylvania Avenue in York City, Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018. Dawn J. Sagert photo

After nearly 29 years with the York City Fire Department, Chief David Michaels is retiring.

Michaels, who has been chief since 2012, will be retiring Feb. 1 to take a position with WellSpan's emergency management team.

“I think its the right time to step back," Michaels said Friday, Jan. 18.

He said the department will be in good hands when he leaves. Deputy Chief Chad Deardorff will be named acting chief on Feb. 2, according to a news release from the city.

“That is the plan; he will move into the position," Michaels said.

Better: Michaels noted that the department is in better shape than it was when he became chief. 

He became chief in 2012, and firefighters were facing layoffs, he said.

"The city financially was going through some real tough times," Michaels said.

The department had 56 career firefighters, which is the lowest the department has had, he said.

Come Tuesday, Jan. 22, 10 more career firefighters will be sworn in to the department. The department will then have 65 career officers, according to the chief.

Career: York City said in its news release that Michaels was promoted to lieutenant in January 2000, about 10 years after he joined the department. He was named firefighter of the year in 2006 and was promoted to assistant chief in 2008, according to the release.

He was named deputy chief in 2010 before taking the position as chief in 2012.

The chief said that's a long time to be in his type of position.

Michaels said he had been thinking about retirement and decided to retire once the opportunity at WellSpan came up. He said he is staying close by.

“I think it’s a tough decision — hopefully the right decision,” he said of his retirement.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at cdornblaser@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.