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Snyder unexpectedly steps away in letter to city Wednesday, April 13; Scott Lewis named interim chief

PMG FILE PHOTO - Gresham Fire Chief Mitch Snyder has resigned. The head of Gresham Fire & Emergency Services unexpectedly submitted a letter of resignation last week.

Chief Mitch Snyder, 58, has stepped away from Gresham Fire after submitting a letter to city leadership Wednesday, April 13. He had led the organization for four years — including through several tumultuous wildfire summers and the difficulties of the pandemic. The city did not share his reason for resigning.

Now Scott Lewis is the interim chief of the department as the city begins coordinating on searching for a replacement.

Snyder succeeded longtime Chief Greg Matthews at the helm of Gresham Fire. Snyder was a career firefighter who came to the city with 35 years of experience rising up through the ranks — lieutenant, captain and battalion chief. Before arriving in Gresham, he was the division chief with the Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority.

"Chief Snyder has a history of building strong community partnerships, thrives in a change-driven and inventive environment and leads with honor and respect," Deputy City Manager Corey Falls said at the time of his hire.

Snyder's successor will face certain challenges. Gresham Fire, like nearly every department in the city, is facing a budget deficit. The department is understaffed, officials say, and many of the facilities and pieces of equipment are aging beyond their useful lifespan.


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