Fire Service program welcomes new swing-shift instructor

Posted: January 10, 2017

Starting Winter Quarter, students in the swing-shift Fire Service program at South Campus will have a seasoned veteran as their instructor. Chuck Kahler, former South King Fire and Rescue assistant chief of operations, brings more than 46 years of experience to the classroom. His first day was Jan. 3.

“Bates has the premier fire program in the region, and we are excited to have Chuck on our team,” said the college’s Fire Service Instructional Program Manager Pat Dale.

Former South King Fire and Rescue Assistant Chief of Operations Chuck Kahler joins Bates’ Fire Service program

A 1971 graduate of Bates Technical College’s Fire Service program, Kahler began his career as a firefighter-paramedic at the Seattle Fire Department. He was hired at South King Fire and Rescue in 1980, where he held various leadership positions, including lieutenant, captain, battalion chief, and finally, assistant chief of operations. In that role, he supervised four shift battalion chiefs, special operations teams, hazardous materials, and technical rescue and marine divisions. Kahler also served as the liaison to Valley Communications Center, department chaplains, and King County Emergency Medical Services.

“It’s an honor to see my fire service career come full circle with my return to the Fire Service training program, where it all began decades ago,” said Kahler. “I look forward to sharing my experiences and knowledge with the new recruits.”

The Fire Service career education program and related courses are located at the college’s South Campus, 2201 S. 78th Street in Tacoma. Students can enroll in either the day or swing-shift program, and can earn a certificate or an Associate in Applied Science.

For more information about the Fire Service program, go to, or call 253.680.7460.