Suddenly, a New Fire Chief for Novato

Ken Massucco, recently retired as Marin County Fire Department chief, takes over with mysterious departure of Marc Revere.

Less than four months after receiving a national Chief of the Year award, Marc Revere is out as chief of the Novato Fire District.

Exactly why it happened is the subject of some confusion.

The district's board of directors met Wednesday night to discuss Revere's performance as chief and emerged from a closed session with an announcement that Revere had retired, according to a report in the Marin Independent Journal. Ken Massucco, the recently retired chief of the Marin County Fire Department, was hired as interim chief, board member Farhad Mansourian told the IJ.

Revere had not made a public announcement that he would retire. In January, Massucco, of Woodacre, provided two months of notice that he would retire by the end of March, wrapping up a 38-year career.

Novato just lost its deputy fire chief, Eric Nickel, last month when he took the top job in Palo Alto.

Revere, a 35-year firefighting veteran, could not be reached for comment. His base salary in 2011 was $204,000. Massucco's base salary last year was $190,000.

The district referred all inquiries about the personnel move to board president Jim Galli, who did not return phone calls Thursday.

Massucco, a Marin native, said he was not in position to discuss the move and was just getting adjusted in the new role.

"I will sit down with board and go over things probably over the next couple of days," he said. "They have some things they want me to work on. I had couple of meetings today, some orientation and meeting some people."

Novato Fire District has an excellent reputation, Massucco said.

"It is a very well-run organization with very top-line firefirghters and staff," he said. "The equipment is in good condition and facilities are strong. They've done great job as far as planning over the years." 

A year ago, after Revere was given an excellent performance evaluation by the fire board, then-board president LJ Silverman said Revere had "done a stellar job in creating the framework for continuous self-improvement to internationally recognized standards of excellence. He led the district to achievement, recognition and efficiencies during one of the most challenging fiscal environments any of us have seen. The chief is committed to the community and the fire service profession, and we are fortunate for his service.”

In August 2012, Revere was the first recipient of the Center for Public Safety Excellence’s Fire Chief of the Year award and was presented the honor during the Fire-Rescue International conference in Denver. The center said recognized Revere for his emphasis on leadership, public service, integrity, innovation and professional development. Two years earlier, the center honored Revere as the first recipient of the national Ronny Jack Coleman Leadership and Legacy Award for "superior leadership and actions that have elevated the international fire and emergency service profession through mentoring, teaching and sharing outstanding contributions." 

Revere has traveled the country as a guest speaker on the subjects of leadership and mentoring and serves as a columnist for the Firefighter Nation and Fire Rescue publications. While in Novato, he developed a fire officer development program that cultivates potential leaders for promotion to roles of higher responsibility.

Revere's resume is thick with commission posts and awards. He served the past 12 years on the International Association of Fire Chief’s Professional Development Committee and was a co-author of the association's officer development handbook and guidelines for its national mentoring program. In 2009, he led Novato Fire through a meticulous process to achieve a certificate from the Commission on Fire Accreditation International; only five other California fire districts and about 130 worldwide have achieved that coveted designation.

A graduate of the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer program, Revere has served as the president of the California Fire Chief’s Association, president of the Marin County Fire Chief’s Association and president of the Marin County Emergency Radio Authority. In 2008, Revere attended the JFK School of Government at Harvard University.

The fire board credited Revere with making big strides in the areas of long-term liabilities, retirement health care, emergency services billing efficiency, financial reporting, securing of grants and public outreach.

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Craig Belfor November 30, 2012 at 05:52 AM
I have a theory- All of the top cops, fire chiefs, school district superintendents, and top county officials trade jobs with each other so they can get retirement, and then double dip in the new job. I suspect that everyone gets promoted just before retirement so they can game up their retirement base. Is there any truth to this? How do we find out? Let's ask Tina.
Betty Pancakes November 30, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Tina who?! I'm dying to hear more about this magical woman who has the answers to everything!
DC November 30, 2012 at 05:03 PM
I'd rather see an in-house promotion.
Susan Clark December 01, 2012 at 03:23 AM
I respect Tina's comments and welcome more.
JAN December 06, 2012 at 11:28 PM
Revere's leaving with such short notice and no retirement event suggests a sad departure after many years of dedicated servcie to the community. It's too bad it ended this way but Revere and the Fire District Board of Directors have a right to privacy. No matter, bad news always rides a fast horse. The true reason will leak out sooner or later...


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