ORINDA -- Interim fire Chief Stephen Healy has been named the new fire chief of the Moraga-Orinda Fire District.

Directors made the appointment Wednesday following a public workshop on staffing reductions.

Healy, 46, was named interim fire chief in July following the resignation of former fire Chief Randy Bradley, who left the district to head the Modesto Regional Fire Authority. Directors had previously agreed to hire a consultant to help in the search for a new chief, but did not retain a recruiter.

Healy joined MOFD in 2006 as a battalion chief and later served as division chief of operations. He began his career with the Salinas Fire Department as a firefighter-paramedic before becoming a captain.

His appointment followed a public workshop to discuss staffing reductions as the district grapples with a budget shortfall. Officials are also trying to address more than $80 million in pension and health care debt.

In an interview, Healy said the challenges facing the district have never been bigger.

"It's a difficult time to be a fire chief, but I don't know if there's ever any time that's easy," he said. "You do it because you feel like you want to make a difference."



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