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David Bramell new fire chief for LM district

The Lathrop Manteca Fire District has a new permanent leader.

David Bramell – who currently serves as a division chief for the South San Joaquin County Fire Authority in Tracy – was selected by the district’s board as the permanent replacement for former Fire Chief Gene Neely who retired abruptly in April of last year.

The district has been helmed by former Battalion Chief Josh Capper who was appointed first as the acting chief before being made the interim chief while a search for a permanent replacement was conducted.

“The Fire Board was presented with a lot of great choices,” said board chair Jeremy Coe. “With that said, Chief Bramell’s integrity, professionalism, and leadership skills made him clearly the best choice for our district.

“The Fire Board was very fortunate and appreciative to have Chief Capper keep the forward momentum going during this process.” 

Bramell, a longtime Manteca resident, began his career at the Manteca Fire Department as a reserve firefighter in 1990 before being hired by Tracy Rural full-time in 1994. In addition to holding an associate degree in fire science, Bramell is nearing completion of a bachelors in fire administration from Columbia Southern University.

He is also a certified Chief Officer, Fire Instructor and Emergency Medical Technician.

“I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity to serve the greater Lathrop community as Fire Chief,” Bramell said. “I look forward to working with our Board of Directors, supporting our staff, and working together to ensure the continued delivery of high-quality fire service to our community.”

Bramell was selected from a pool of 22 potential candidates that was assembled by Roseville-based Bob Murray and Associates – the firm contracted by the district to conduct the search and help facilitate the process. The process that led to his ultimate hiring included several meetings, interviews, and both professional and community participation panels that were assembled to gather input from a variety of stakeholders.

With the public announcement from the board of directors coming this week when they announced the acceptance of his employment offer, Bramell is set to begin in his new position on July 11.

Capper will continue to serve in the position in an interim capacity until Bramell starts – at which time he will go back to his previous role as a battalion chief.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.