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Escondido names new fire chief

ESCONDIDO — A longtime firefighter with the city is taking the top job.

Deputy Fire Chief Russell Knowles was named Monday as the Escondido Fire Department’s newest chief. He replaces Chief Mike Lowry, who retired last December, but was called back for six months so the city could filter through the applications.

Lowry will once again retire on June 3, while Knowles begins work on June 5.

Knowles will take over the day-to-day operations of the department including supervising three battalion chiefs and the training and EMS divisions.

Knowles joined the department in 1991 as a firefighter and has risen through the ranks working as a firefighter paramedic, fire captain, battalion chief, division chief and deputy fire chief.

Knowles holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Fire Administration from Cogswell Polytechnic College as well as an Associate’s Degree with a major in Public Fire Service.  Russ served as the Chair of the North Zone Operations Chiefs and the North Zone liaison to the San Diego County Operations committee. He also has served as President for the Escondido Firefighter’s Association.

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