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Darrington Fire District 24 is governed by a five-member board of elected fire district commissioners. The commissioners are responsible for the adoption of policy and the annual operating budget for the District.

Under the oversight of the elected commission is managed by a leadership team of officers. The leadership team is responsible for the implementation and execution of the strategy of the organization based upon policy set by elected commission. The leadership team also manages the day-to-day operations of the fire district.



Joel Johnson
Fire Chief

Chief Johnson started with Darrington Fire District 24 in 2016 as a volunteer Firefighter/EMT. Beginning in 2020, he was hired to a shared, full-time Training Captain position with Snohomish County District 25/Oso Fire Department. This position was provided through a federal SAFER Grant. This grant allowed both agencies to put an emphasis on training, recruitment, and retention.

In 2023, Joel was appointed as the Fire Chief after Dennis Fenstermaker retired after serving the district for 25 years. Joel is responsible for leading all aspects of the Fire District and making sure that all of our personnel have the resources they need to be safe and successful as they serve the community.

Joel also serves as a volunteer and board member with our area chaplain and support organization, Northwest Incident Support. NWIS provides services for 16 different first responder departments in Island, Snohomish, and Skagit Counties.


Gary Lingel
Assistant Chief - Medical Services Administrator

Chief Lingel started with Darrington Fire District 24 in 2019 as a Captain MSA/Paramedic. Prior to joining the team, Gary helped with ongoing EMT training and evaluations on a contract basis.


Now, Gary leads our entire emergency medical system. He is responsible for the training of all EMTs and Paramedics, buying supplies, and making sure we are ready to respond anytime there is a medical emergency.

Gary has been a firefighter for over 22 years. He currently is a full-time Captain/Paramedic with North County Regional Fire Authority, based in Stanwood. Gary also owns a small business that focuses on medical and HAZMAT training for community groups, businesses, and other government entities.


Drew Bono
Deputy Fire Chief - Special Projects

Chief Bono has served in different capacities of the fire service for a decade. He has been with the Darrington Fire District since 2016 and provided consulting services to the district prior to that.

Drew is responsible for helping with large projects such as grants, technology, and deployments.

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