The first paid Kent Fire Department chief has died, the Kent Regional Fire Authority announced Monday.
Tom Foster, 85, held badge No. KF0001, and was chief from 1965 to 1981. Before his hiring, the post was a volunteer position.
He started as a volunteer firefighter in 1950 in the Panther Lake area and in 1952 was hired by the Seattle Fire Department, where he worked until leaving for Kent.
Foster held numerous regional leadership positions, including lead instructor at the Washington State Fire Academy. He also was president of the Washington State Fire Chiefs Association and the Western States Fire Chiefs Association.
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Foster died May 17 at a Kent-area assisted care facility.
A memorial will be at 2 p.m. June 1 at Fire Station 74, 24611 116th Ave. SE, Kent. It will be open to the public.