Bob Horton Joins WFCA as Interim Deputy Director

Published: 12/13/2022
Author: Bob Horton, WFCA Deputy Director

It is my pleasure to join the great team here at the Western Fire Chiefs Association. It was 1999 when I went on my first ride along, and it changed the course of my life forever! After twenty-two years of service to the community, I now shift my focus to serving the members and partners of our innovative association. A third of my career has been spent in executive leadership positions, working to deliver quality services to the community and provide a safe environment for the workforce such that they could retire physically, mentally, and financially healthy.

I have had the pleasure of serving in both a large metropolitan fire department and a small rural fire protection district in Nevada and Oregon, respectively. Each brought different and unique challenges that have shaped the type of leader I am today. I was trained in public administration by political scientists and in public policy by economists, which has helped shape my worldview on the complex policy issues we are facing at all levels of government. As a scholar-practitioner, I am involved in several academic studies at the intersection of applied economics, public policy, and community risk management, aimed to answering today’s most relevant policy questions. My diverse background in education and practice will help to serve the members and partners of the WFCA as we advance the industry through technology, innovation, and policy.  

Congratulations to my predecessor, Brent VanKeulen, who has taken his expertise back to serve the community as Deputy Chief of Central Pierce Fire and Rescue. Chief VanKeulen’s leadership has led to advancements in technology across the fire service industry.  

Again, it is my pleasure to join the amazing team here at the Western Fire Chiefs Association who work tirelessly to serve our industry; not just for the challenges of today but for the opportunities of tomorrow!  

For a full bio, visit


Bob Horton
Interim Deputy Director


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