Santa Barbara City Fire Department Operations Chief Retires

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Santa Barbara City Fire Department Operations Chief Retires
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Source: Santa Barbara City Fire Department

The Santa Barbara City Fire Department would like to announce the retirement of Operations Division Chief Lee Waldron. He will leave the City of Santa Barbara as of November 19, 2020 after serving for 36 years in the fire service.

Chief Waldron was hired by the Santa Barbara City Fire Department in 1984. He promoted to Engineer in 1990 and to Captain in 1995. Chief Waldron rose to the rank of Battalion Chief in 2010. 

Chief Waldron worked in many assignments during his tenure, including Hazmat Team member, Aircraft Rescue Firefighter and Truck Captain.  Chief Waldron worked in the Training Division as both a Captain and Battalion Chief where he managed several recruit academies and conducted multiple promotional exams for all ranks. He was also a shift Battalion Chief.

Chief Waldron was awarded “Firefighter of the Year”, by the Santa Barbara City Firefighters Association, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Lions club. He also served as a board member of the Santa Barbara City Firefighters Association and as a Liaison to the Santa Barbara Firefighters Alliance.

Chief Waldron promoted into his current position at Operations Division Chief in May 2015. He helped establish a Type 3 Incident Management Team comprised of all of the agencies in Santa Barbara County. He is certified as both a Company Officer and Chief Officer by the California State Fire Marshal. Chief Waldron was the interim Fire Chief from March 2018 until January 2019. 

Former Santa Barbara City Fire Chief Pat McElroy said this about Chief Waldron “Over his whole career and especially the last ten years, Lee Waldron has been a rock solid fire leader in the Santa Barbara County Operational Area. When I was Chief he was my right arm.”

The Santa Barbara City Fire Department would like to congratulate Chief Waldron on a long successful career, and thank him for his service.  We wish him a happy retirement.

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gilrun1 Nov 19, 2020 12:01 PM
Santa Barbara City Fire Department Operations Chief Retires

First, I would like to offer heartfelt thanks for the service Mr. Waldron has rendered this community for so long and so well! Then, to those who are complaining about the "extra" pensions etc of public officials who continue to work after retirement and who receive another pension, or other payment, I say hallelujah that they are able to WORK after retiring from one job to do another. Where is the same complaining about corporate heads who "retire" or even who are fired, and are given millions, regardless of the job they performed! That money also comes out of our pockets in one way or another!

a-1605820086 Nov 19, 2020 01:08 PM
Santa Barbara City Fire Department Operations Chief Retires

Name another public job where you work 3 days a week, can retire at 50, and get 90% of your salary for the rest of your life? As well as other benefits including health insurance. I don't even think cops have it this good, although it's close.

I don't feel it's right that Bezos makes trillions of dollars and isn't taxed more. Firefighters and police officer's paychecks are paid directly by us and our taxes. It's a bit harder to swallow when you see how much they make for what they do. Same goes for city managers.

a-1605807063 Nov 19, 2020 09:31 AM
Santa Barbara City Fire Department Operations Chief Retires

People who retire from government jobs should be outright banned from holding any paying public position ever again. It would be one thing if these people retired and got another job in the private industry, but too often they come back and double dip in the public industry. Stop this practice! It's not okay!

SantaBarbaraNative Nov 19, 2020 06:19 AM
Santa Barbara City Fire Department Operations Chief Retires

@RHS... you’re correct to wonder why the City isn’t promoting or building leadership from within. That points to the total lack of direction by the city manager. He’s completely out of touch and disconnected. Just look at all the talented and qualified people who have left very recently.

RHS Nov 18, 2020 06:04 PM
Santa Barbara City Fire Department Operations Chief Retires

I am as cynical as anyone about the schemes and machinations of fire fighters to boost pensions and move from job to job but this person spent his entire career in one agency and was certainly retirement eligible years ago. I commend him for staying put. One wonders if he was told that he would not be considered for the opening as chief and then decided to move out. If so it is sort of sad. We should be promoting from within to fill vacancies and since this person was acceptable and promtable for decades I wonder why he doesn't get a shot at the big one.

PitMix Nov 19, 2020 07:42 AM
Santa Barbara City Fire Department Operations Chief Retires

RHS, most of these people continue to work for other agencies and so get to double dip. They don't actually stop working. Not good for taxpayers given their lucrative salaries and pensions. https://santamariatimes.com/news/local/slo-county-fire-chief-retiring-taking-new-job-in-sb-county/article_7267d21e-52d9-536c-ba03-aafd926dcbfe.html

PitMix Nov 19, 2020 07:34 AM
Santa Barbara City Fire Department Operations Chief Retires

3 figure is per hour, right? Fire fighters have it pretty good. Last time they help tryouts for an opening at the local school, hundreds of young (mostly) men showed up for the 5 open spots. If you are one of the 5, you have it made.

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