Second chief in two years announces retirement

CATHEDRAL CITY – Fire Chief John Muhr, appointed to the position in October 2020, has announced he will retire later this year, City Manager Charles McClendon confirmed Friday. He did not have a specific date.

McClendon said the announcement did not come as a surprise to him as Muhr had “been alerting” him to his retirement for some time.

“I was hoping he’d stay longer,” McClendon said.

Muhr was one of a six finalists selected to interview for the position through a national search conducted by Bob Murray and Associates. Details regarding the recruitment for Muhr’s position will be available within 2-3 weeks, according to their website.

Muhr filled the role left vacant when Paul S. Wilson retired. Wilson announced his retirement from the city effective May 28, 2020. He and his wife, Pam, moved to Mesa, Ariz., to be near — and help take care of — his elderly mother

“We were fortunate to have an outstanding candidate for the fire chief position in our very own department,” McClendon said at the time.  “Chief Muhr is well-known and respected throughout the community as a thoughtful and compassionate leader who puts public safety first.”

Chief Muhr started his firefighting career in 1988 with the Orange County Fire Authority.  He served 18 years (1991-2009) with the Hemet Fire Department while advancing in his career from firefighter to Battalion Chief before joining the Cathedral City Fire Department in 2009 as a Battalion Chief.   His experience includes Emergency Preparedness, Operations, and Training.  He holds an associate degree in Fire Administration from Santa Ana College, a bachelor’s degree in Fire Administration from Columbia Southern University, and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Grand Canyon University.  From 2013 to 2015, he also taught fire safety as an Adjunct Professor for Columbia Southern University.

Locally, he has been active in Cathedral City’s community outreach programs and festivals, the Boys and Girls Club of Cathedral City, and a mentor for the Cathedral City High School Mentor Program.


Image Sources

  • John Muhr: City of Cathedral City