Chief Mike Blood has logged 10 days in the city's top job in the fire department. His assessment to this point?
“So far, so good.”
The 22-year veteran of the Coronado Fire Department took over as chief when John Traylor retired July 1. Blood, 49, moved up from one of the city's three division chief positions.
The Allied Gardens native started his career in the U.S. Forest Service. After a year-long assignment in the Cleveland National Forest, he moved on to the Solana Beach department, where he spent another year before settling in Coronado.
Though many little boys dream of becoming firefighters, the Mount Helix resident said he “didn't really have that as a goal.” Instead, he followed his father into the shipbuilding business at NASSCO, one of the region's major employers.
Blood spent five years there, before his late father, a supervisor, took on the task of offering him harsh news: NASSCO was laying him off.
“Not too nice of a family-type event,” Blood said, laughing. But he quickly righted himself, enrolled in classes to become a firefighter and by 1987, secured the forest service job.
Traylor, who completed his second stint as Coronado's fire chief when he retired, left an agency that Blood describes as “a very good department.”
“I do look at him as a mentor,” Blood said.
He said, though, that he would like to work on succession planning within the department, and will be involved in regional planning, including the possible merger of two of the region's three major dispatches.
After serving as division chief for four years, Blood began to sense he could run a department. He's glad the opportunity arose in Coronado.
“Ideally for me, it would be here in this city,” he said. “It's a city I've grown to love.”