The Wheel for November 16, 2017

by | Nov 16, 2017 | The Wheel | 0 comments

Listen to William McDonald – LV Fire & Rescue, Fire Chief

The Wheel


William McDonald – Las Vegas Fire Chief, Las Vegas Fire & Rescue

Willie McDonald is a native of Fresno, California, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from California State University. He also graduated from the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officers’ Program, completed Harvard University’s fellowship for State and Local Government Officials, and earned Arizona State University’s Certified Public Manager Certificate.

In 1978, Chief McDonald started his fire career in Fresno as a Firefighter Trainee and then promoted through the ranks to Firefighter-Paramedic, Engineer-Paramedic, Captain-Paramedic and Deputy Fire Chief, serving until February 1993. As a Deputy Chief, McDonald oversaw In-service and Recruit Training, Emergency Medical Services, Fleet (including Maintenance, Repair, and Purchasing), Hazardous Materials Response, Disaster Management and Fire Communications.

Willie was appointed Fire Chief in Foster City, CA in 1993, Fire Chief in San Mateo, CA in 1996, Fremont, CA in 2002, and Scottsdale, AZ in 2004. In Scottsdale, he was provided the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of creating a new Fire Department to replace the private contractor, Rural Metro. Chief McDonald helped to hire approximately 275 employees, purchase necessary protective clothing, tools and equipment; and develop policies, practices, and procedures. The new Department was launched at midnight on July 1, 2005, and this event was the start of the City directly providing services without interruption. Six years later in August 2010, McDonald was appointed Fire Chief in San Jose, CA, where the Fire Department has 790 employees serving the nation’s 10th largest populated city.

Beginning August 2013, he joined Las Vegas Fire & Rescue as the Fire Chief. The Department is highly respected throughout the fire service, is accredited and maintains an ISO Class I designation.

Message From The President

Dear Rotarians,

I was fortunate to attend the Rotary Zone 25/26 Institute training as part of the D5300 team this past weekend in chilly Reno.

With a conference theme of “Partnerships Work”, RIPE Barry Rassin had a timely message in which he highlighted the fact that “the only thing that limits the good that Rotary can do is the number of people working the problem…and the resources available to them”.

We all know the problems in our community and how our club is working to address it – from feeding the hungry to clothing the needy to honoring our servicemen and women. We need your help to spread the news about the good that our club and Rotary is doing. Wear your Rotary pin, share our club’s Facebook posts and invite your friends to join you for lunch. It is only through these efforts that we can continue to “Make a Difference” and do good in the world.

Michael Gordon
95th President
Rotary Club of Las Vegas

Member Highlights

Scribe – November 9, 2017

  • Past President David Thorson called the meeting to order.
  • Ted McAdam kicked off the Veterans Day Celebration with the Palo Verde Color Guard and presentation of colors. Bill Stieren gave the invocation. PP Jim Hunt introduced a video presentation of a Choir of 500 students singing our National Anthem, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. The Sergeant at Arms was Kim Nyoni.
  • There were (1) International Rotarians, (0) visiting Rotarians and (16) Guests of Rotarians introduced.
  • The drawing began at $1,114 plus this week’s donations. The Ticket Winner was PP Steve Linder who won $10 and the Lawry’s Bucks Winner was Walt Rulffes.
  • Bob Fisher announced the LV Rotary Foundation will be providing a weekly explanation to the Club members about what the Foundation is, including how it is accountable, the commitment and expertise of its Board, among other things
  • Beckley Principal Shannon Brown thanked Rotary for helping with the Harvest Festival and announced the event raised $6,6410.75, an increase from last year, and that November 15 is Zoom Family Night at 4:30 p.m.
  • Marie Walsh reminded members that Breakfast With Books is November 14th and volunteers are needed.
  • Jackie Thornhill announced the 4th Quarter Wetzel Awards Program is scheduled for November 30th at 2:30 p.m.
  • Jaime Goldsmith reminded members of the Holiday Party at Treasure Island, still with ‘free parking’ on December 7th.
  • Sarah Brown announced she will be relocating to Syracuse, NY in December, leaving our Club with fond memories and thanks and that Doug Grant will be taking over her franchise business, keeping it ‘in the family’.
  • Erik Astramecki announced the current amount in our Canned Food Drive is over $6,383 and donations will wrap up at the November 22nd meeting. He also mentioned a partnership with Smiths that would donate a portion of gas points earned to the Food Drive and to contact him for the form to participate in the program and add to the money raised.
  • James Kohl made a presentation on behalf of his firm and the LVRF to Miracle Flight in the sum of $5,000.
  • PP Jim Hunt made a presentation on behalf of the Club, to Rex Bell of Toys For Smiles, a partner in Santa Clothes, in the sum of $2,000.
  • Bob Fisher asked that we consider donating new toys for distribution by the Salvation Army to children for the holiday, with a goal of 5,000 toys, noting a table will be set up at our meetings on November 16 and 30, encouraging everyone to participate.
  • Ted McAdam continued the Veterans Day spirit by honoring all veterans and introduced our speaker program, Colonel David M. Bissonnette, Vice Commander 432d Wing/432d Air Expeditionary Wing, Creech Air Force Base. Col. Bissonnette, whose father was a Rotarian, graciously thanked Rotary for all that we do and for recognizing the military. He presented videos of various missions and air weapons in the ‘Hunter Family’, methods keeping troops safe on the ground and describing the purpose of the program ‘win, empower, develop and support’. The technology described, including remote control aircraft, is currently engaged in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan and directed against ISIS and the Taliban.
  • The program was concluded by the Palo Verde JROTC flag folding ceremony and Retiring the Colors.
  • Past President David Thorson presented our speaker with a “Share What You Can” award to benefit a veteran in need and then adjourned the meeting.


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