“He’s been in the CCFD for 25 years and understands the community, fire services and the challenges facing the Clark County Fire Department.” The appointment will go before the County Commission on Feb. 17. If ratified, Cassell would become the department’s 10th fire chief.
Cassell has worked his way up the ranks of the department, which he joined in 1989. He has been a battalion chief since 2006, serving in the last 18 months overseeing the department’s Training Division, directing and overseeing the development and delivery of fire and rescue training to more than 900 career and volunteer fire personnel.
Before that he served for more than seven years as a line battalion chief overseeing the daily operations of Fire/Emergency Medical Service personnel.
Cassell also had been a captain and team member of Heavy Rescue from 1991 to 2006. He additionally served 16 years as a paramedic. Most recently, Cassell deployed as the Operations Section Chief to the Moapa Indian Reservation flood last September. The native Las Vegan has a bachelor’s degree in Fire and Emergency Service Administration and a bachelor’s degree in Technology Education and Training.
“I am honored to have been selected as the next fire chief of the Clark County Fire Department,” said Cassell. “The Clark County Fire Department is a great organization and I look forward to working with the fine men and women of the department as we handle the challenges that we face as an organization.”
Ryan Beaman, president of International Association of Firefighters Local 1908, praised the appointment. “Chief Cassell understands the first priority for the first responders in Clark County is the safety of our community,” Beaman said. “He will make an excellent Fire Chief for the Clark County Fire Department and we look forward to working with him.”
The CCFD has 29 full-time fire stations and 13 volunteer stations, responding to 143,263 incidents in 2013 — 2,834 fires, 132,963 medical calls and 7,466 other calls. Some 489 fire investigations were conducted that year. Fire losses totaled $17.4 million. The Fire Department also maintains one of only 28 urban search and rescue teams in the country and provides fire and rescue services to the nation’s 9th-busiest airport. Its full-time staff numbers include 703 paid employees and about 200 rural volunteer firefighters.
The department has had nine previous fire chiefs, including William H. Trelease (January 1954 to December 1964), Herman “Kit” Carson (through January 1971), Clell Henley (through November 1974), Leroy O. Hawks (through December 1977), Roy L. Parrish (through December 1990), William S. Bunker (through November 1996), Earl A. Greene (through
February 2006), Smith (February 2006 through September 2010) and Washington (November 2010 through November 2014).