Washburn out, Bickford in as Davenport Fire Chief


Lynn Washburn is out as Davenport’s fire chief and Jim Bickford is in.

Washburn was placed on paid administrative leave on Tuesday.

In a memo to the Davenport Fire Department on Friday morning, city administrator Corri Spiegel wrote:

“I know the past few days have been filled with uncertainty. Thank you for your patience during this time.

Chief Washburn’s tenure as the City of Davenport Fire Chief concluded Thursday, July 27.

Effective today, Friday, July 28, Chief Jim Bickford will assume the role of Interim Fire Chief. Chief Bickford has served this department and community honorably for the past 38 years, and I am excited to work with both he and Chief Hayman as they both take on expanded roles.

I am confident that Chief Bickford and Chief Hayman will lead your department with the partnership, dedication and commitment that we all know they have exhibited in their more than 30 years of working together at Davenport Fire. In support of their additional responsibilities, I have assigned Assistant to the City Administrator Merritt to the Fire Department on a part-time basis. She will be working closely with Chief Bickford and Chief Hayman providing administrative support so they can focus on the leadership and management of your department’s critical service delivery areas.

In the coming weeks, we will move forward with the announcement of the full complement of promotions associated with the vacancies in the Captain, Lieutenant and Engineer ranks.

During times of organizational transition, open lines of communication are critical. Over the course of the next few months, Chief Bickford, Chief Hayman, Mallory and I will be visiting each station and each shift to foster an open, honest and collaborative dialogue about the department’s future. I look forward to these conversations, but know that we are all available to each of you at any time.

In closing, please know I appreciate everything you do to serve our community.

We have a big weekend ahead, stay safe and have fun!”

The memo was shared with the media by the city of Davenport at 3:57 p.m.

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