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City of Santa Barbara selects new fire chief

Chris Mailes.PNG
Posted at 2:40 PM, Mar 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-30 17:40:04-04

The City of Santa Barbara has a new fire chief and he's a familiar face to the department.

Chris Mailes, who has been serving as interim chief for the last several months, has been appointed to run the city's eight fire stations.

He reportedly has been with the Santa Barbara City Fire Department in various positions for 28 years and served in leadership roles during incidents including the Thomas Fire and Montecito debris flow.

“I am honored and humbled to be chosen to lead the City’s Fire Department. As a lifelong resident of the area and having been born and raised in the City, it is a special honor to care for my community. We have an amazing group of dedicated women and men. I am honored to continue to ensure that our residents and visitors are well cared for by your Fire Department. I thank the City for having the confidence in me to lead this fine organization,” Mailes said in a press release.

The City says Mailes was chosen from 37 candidates. He will oversee the department’s more than 100 employees and $30 million budget.

“It was a well qualified group of finalists and I chose Chief Mailes due to his professionalism, team dedication, tenure with the department, and excellent performance during his acting chief assignment. He is well regarded within the department and by fire professionals in the region,” said City Administrator Paul Casey in a press release.

The search for a new chief has been underway since Eric Nickel’s retirement in October.