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New LA County Fire Chief To Be Sworn In Thursday

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Daryl Osby (Credit: Mark Ridley-Thomas/Los Angeles County)

Daryl Osby (Credit: Mark Ridley-Thomas/Los Angeles County)

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Daryl Osby will become the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s first black fire chief Thursday when he is sworn in as head of the 4,400- person agency.

The 27-year veteran, who was a top commander during many of the Southland’s most challenging fire crises, was chosen by the Board of Supervisors.

“Daryl Osby’s impressive background makes him the right choice for this demanding job,” Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said. “He has extensive executive experience, a comprehensive understanding of emergency fire and medical services and, of course, years of on-the-ground firefighting experience.”

Osby was deployed to Louisiana for 18 days following Hurricane Katrina to assist with the region’s comprehensive recovery planning.

He also has a long history of community involvement and mentoring, including the L.A. Junior Firefighters Foundation, Youth for Excellence Foundation and the Inglewood YMCA.

Osby, who joined the county department in 1984, will succeed retiring fire Chief P. Michael Freeman, who served as the department’s commander for 21 years.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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