SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Santa Barbara City Fire Department has a new chief.
The city announced Tuesday the appointment of Chris Mailes as fire chief.
Mailes, who has worked with the city's fire department for almost 30 years, was selected out of a field of 37 candidates.
“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," City Administrator Paul Casey said in a news release.
Mailes previously served as a battalion chief and oversaw three shifts of rotating coverage. He's also served as the station's training officer and was responsible for the training of 90 firefighters and staff.
Casey said Mailes' previous experience working with other agencies and his well-regarded reputation was a big reason for the hiring. He was born and raised in Santa Barbara and has a degree from UC Santa Barbara.
Mailes was part of the team that responded to the Thomas Fire and Montecito Mudslides.
“I am honored and humbled to be chosen to lead the city’s fire department," Mailes said. "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.”
Mailes takes over the department following the retirement of previous fire chief Eric Nickel in October.
The Santa Barbara Fire Department has a $30 million budget and 106 employees, the city said.