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Longtime firefighter new chief

Longtime Las Vegas firefighter Greg Gammon was sworn in as the city’s new fire chief Wednesday, with his father — a veteran of the agency — pinning the new badge on his chest.

Gammon, previously the department’s senior deputy fire chief, was appointed to the position in December, pending ratification by the Las Vegas City Council.

He was chosen after a search netted nearly 40 candidates from across the country. Gammon replaces David Washington, who retired Oct. 1.

“This exhaustive search demonstrated that the best candidate was already on the payroll,” said deputy assistant city manager Betsy Fretwell.

Wednesday’s ceremony was lighthearted.

Gammon, who’s been with the department 23 years, said he remembers spending time at the firehouse as a boy with his father, Richard, who spent 32 years on the job.

In addition to playing on the fire trucks, he said, “I remember eating their food. I remember putting on their dirty, stinky helmets.”

He also — unfortunately — remembers having to dress up as a firefighter’s mascot dalmatian for three Halloweens.

“I’ve never quite gotten over that,” he joked. “I believe I have found every last picture, and I destroyed them.”

Gammon received a standing ovation from a host of firefighters gathered in the room after the council ratified his appointment.

“Is he chief even though I haven’t sworn him in?” asked Mayor Oscar Goodman as the applause died down.

“No,” one staff member said.

“Yes,” another said.

“You can call me anything you want right now,” Gammon offered.

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