Santa Barbara City Appoints Fire Chief
Source: City of Santa Barbara
After an extensive national recruitment process, Chris Mailes has been appointed as Fire Chief. Selected from 37 candidates, Mailes was serving as the Interim Fire Chief following the retirement of Eric Nickel in October. He will oversee the Fire Department’s $30 million budget and 106 employees in eight fire stations.
Chief Mailes has worked with the City’s Fire Department for 28 years, where he has served in various leadership positions since 1993 when he was hired as a firefighter. In his most recent position as the Battalion Chief, he oversaw one of the three shifts that rotate duty coverage in the City. Prior to that assignment, Chief Mailes was the Department’s Training Officer where he managed the training and compliance of the 90 firefighting personnel. Additionally, he oversaw the implementation of a 3-year, $460,000 automated fire station alerting system. He has extensive experience cooperating with regional and state fire agencies and commanding citywide emergencies. He has served in leadership roles during numerous fires, including the most recent Thomas Fire and Debris Flow. He received a Bachelor’s degree from UCSB. He was the recipient of the Rotary Club of Montecito Public Safety Award and the Santa Barbara Host Lions Club Firefighter of the Year.
According to City Administrator Paul Casey, “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.”
Chief Chris Mailes said, “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.”