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Home / Neighborhood / Riverside County / City of Riverside’s longtime fire chief announces retirement

City of Riverside’s longtime fire chief announces retirement

by Staff
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After nearly a decade leading the city of Riverside Fire Department, Chief Michael Moore recently announced that he plans to retire in September. 

The April 19 announcement coincided with the 42nd anniversary of Moore’s first day on duty as a firefighter.

“My four decades in the fire service represent a dream come true in terms of public service,” Moore said in a statement. “I’ve been blessed to work with thousands of exemplary individuals who made it their life’s work to protect the public. That has especially been true during my time here in Riverside, where the commitment to excellence remains strong.”

Moore, who also served as Riverside’s interim city manager from June 2022 to January 2023, led the fire department to become one of only five firefighting agencies in the state to be accredited as well as an ISO Class 1 department, as recognized by the analytics firm Insurance Services Office Inc., according to a city statement. 

“Only 13% of the U.S. population benefits from the protection of an accredited agency,” city officials said in a statement.

During Moore’s tenure, the Riverside Fire Department raised its rating from Insurance Services Office Class 2 to the highest awarded level, ISO Class 1. Officials credited Measure Z funding for enabling Moore’s department to achieve Class 1 status. 

“This highly regarded distinction reflects the department’s commitment to providing quality public safety services through faster response times, more firefighters and paramedics, and additional truck companies,” city officials said.

Moore was involved in developing Measure Z, a voter-approved 1-cent sales tax aimed at restoring and enhancing public safety programs, according to the city statement. Since Measure Z’s 2016 enactment, the fire department has replaced more than 25 fire trucks and specialized equipment, while adding operations and administrative employees to support the upgrades. 

Moore also was instrumental to the city’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic by taking charge of the Emergency Operations Team. The chief led efforts to bring the first vaccinations and protective measures to the city and county, officials said. 

Since Moore became Riverside’s 21st fire chief in August 2014, he has hired nearly 100 of the department’s current 225 firefighters, officials said. From the outset of his tenure, Moore’s vision for the department included creating a family-oriented culture — “internally, externally and community” — of “friendly and fit firefighters” who are in-tune “mentally, physically and spiritually.” 

To support that vision, Moore directed the Firefighter Peer Support, Care Support Dog and Santa Ana College Wellness programs.

Prior to becoming Riverside’s fire chief, Moore’s first 32 1/2 years in firefighting were with the Orange County Fire Authority. He worked his way through the OCFA as a firefighter, paramedic, engineer, assistant fire training officer, fire captain and executive management administrative fire captain, battalion chief and division chief. 

In his role as a division chief, Moore served as the local fire chief for Yorba Linda, Tustin, Placentia, Villa Park and Irvine.

He has been the Fire Department’s overarching voice in many of the city’s major developments including the California Air Resources Board headquarters, UC Riverside expansions, the Main Library project and the “The Cheech” art museum. 

Officials said Moore has pledged to support the city’s search for the next fire chief and help the new chief transition into his or her new leadership post.

“Michael Moore has served this city with honor and dedication, and we are better and safer for his efforts,” City Manager Mike Futrell said in a statement. “On behalf of all Riverside residents, students and business owners who have benefitted from his leadership, I thank him for his commitment to Riverside.”

Moore graduated from California State University Long Beach with master’s degree in public administration, Redlands University with a bachelor’s in management, Long Beach City College with an associate’s degree in fire science and Santa Ana College with an associate’s degree in paramedical sciences. 

He is also a California state-certified instructor and fire officer and graduated from the National Fire Academy in Emmittsburg, Maryland, where he completed the four-year Executive Fire Officer Program. Moore recently finished training to become a California Executive Chief Fire Officer and is also active in his fraternity, Sigma Pi Fi.

His retirement plans include maintaining a home in the Inland Empire with his wife of 41 years Robyne, according to the city statement.

Moore said he plans to remain active in several church ministries and his hobbies that include supporting LA Angels and Rams, sports shooting, camping, working out at the local gym, walking, running, bicycling, motorcycling, restoring 1960s and ’70s muscle cars and tracking his new Z06 Corvette.

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