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Local Fire News

Palo Alto Reinstates Fire Chief Following Suspension

The Chief was informed of the suspension by phone in January.

Bill Buckingham was reinstated as Palo Alto Fire Chief following a nearly month-long suspension.

Palo Alto council members voted Monday to reinstate the borough’s Fire Chief on Monday following a nearly month-long suspension.

By a vote after a lengthy – and sometimes loud – executive session, Bill Buckingham retained his job as Fire Chief in the borough.

Buckingham was suspended by Palo Alto Borough Council President Brian Dries on Jan. 14. That decision was made during an executive session held by the council that night, according to Eric Prock, borough solicitor.

Dries phoned Buckingham to notify him of the suspension. Neither Dries or Prock disclosed the reason for the suspension. They simply said Buckingham was “suspended on the authority of the Borough Council President.”

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A source tells The Canary the suspension was the result of some public communication issues the Council President had with the Chief.

Dries was the only council member to vote to terminate Buckingham as Fire Chief during the roll call vote after Monday’s executive session.

Despite the vote, Buckingham and Dries appeared to put the issue behind them following the meeting.

Coal Region Canary photo: Palo Alto Fire Chief Bill Buckingham speaks to the media at the scene of a deadly fire in Palo Alto in January 2024.

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