Damon Covington has been serving as interim fire chief for the city of Oakland since June.
Today, Mayor Sheng Thao and City Administrator Jestin Johnson announced Covington will stay in the post permanently.
“As Fire Chief, I will work tirelessly to protect and enhance the health and safety of our dedicated members, ensure we always have the tools and resources needed to fulfill the mission, and develop data-driven solutions to address the specific safety needs within Oakland’s diverse neighborhoods,” Covington said in a statement.
Covington joined OFD 24 years ago and rose through the ranks, eventually becoming the department’s captain of training, then a battalion chief, and later the chief of special operations. He recently served as a deputy fire chief until he was elevated to run the department after the previous chief, Reginald Freeman left in May.
“I am thrilled that Chief Covington has accepted this important appointment to become the next chief of our proud Oakland Fire Department,” said Mayor Sheng Thao.
Covington studied sociology at Sonoma State University and obtained a master’s degree in executive public administration from Golden Gate University. He is currently an adjunct professor at Merritt College where he teaches fire science. A graduate of Bishop O’Dowd High School, Covington moved to the East Bay when he was a child.
Covington is also a past president of the Oakland Black Firefighters Association, a group that helps create opportunities for African Americans in fire and paramedic fields.