Richard Duncan

Inglemoor High School Class of 1967

Devoted and Visionary Bothell Fire Department Chief, Advocate for Firefighter's Health Benefits


Richard Duncan dedicated his career to serving the citizens of Bothell and providing a quality fire department. A lifelong Bothell resident born in 1949, he was a member of the first graduating class of Inglemoor High School. After high school he joined the Navy and worked at various jobs before joining the Bothell Fire Department in 1972. Duncan became chief at the age of 30 in 1980. He built the city's main firehouse, purchased ladder trucks to reach the new taller buildings and began the first HAZMAT unit in the greater south Snohomish/King county area. Duncan was instrumental in ensuring contracts between the fire districts and the city worked, expanding emergency services to more citizens. During his tenure as chief, he took the organization from a small department reinforced with volunteers to a professional fire department. One of his greatest accomplishments was getting all Bothell business and multi- family dwellings to install fire sprinkler systems. Duncan served for 23 years with pride, integrity and the desire to do the right thing, providing a wonderful example to all those under his command. He helped guide the careers of dozens of professional firefighters and over one hundred volunteers. From 2014 to the present, Duncan has been a voluntary member of the City of Bothell's Law Enforcement Officers and Firefighters (LEOFF) 1 Board and currently serves as its chair. After retiring, Duncan remains an advocate for his peers who developed illnesses as a direct result of being a firefighter in the 60's, 70's and 80's. He makes sure these firefighters get the medical care they deserve or that their widows receive the promised benefits. Duncan's contributions to Bothell and its citizens are significant and enduring.