Fire chief honored at banquet

A special event took place at the Pierce County Fire Chiefs’ Association banquet commemorating a current chief and fallen leader.

Fire Chief Association presents award in memory of Chief Dan Packer

A special event took place at the Pierce County Fire Chiefs’ Association banquet commemorating a current chief and fallen leader.

East Pierce interim Fire Chief John McDonald was presented with the Chief Dan Packer Memorial Award for chief of the year at the banquet.

It was the first year the memorial award was presented. Packer died July 26 in a wildfire in northern California. At the time of his death he was the fire chief of East Pierce Fire and Rescue.

The award was presented to McDonald by Packer’s wife, Marylee.

“It was very emotional to get an award named for Dan that recognizes his leadership and Marylee presented it,” McDonald said. “I was really proud to get it.”

McDonald assumed the responsibility of fire chief for East Pierce following the death of Packer.

The award will be presented to a fire chief each year. Packer was recognized as a leader for the firefighters community on a local and state level.

Packer was named fire chief of the Bonney Lake Fire Department in 1995 He led the effort to create East Pierce Fire and Rescue that currently serves about 73,000 people and covers 142 square miles including Bonney Lake, Sumner, Lake Tapps, the ridge communities, South Prairie and Wilkeson.

Reach Dennis Box at or 360-802-8209.

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