SANTA ANA (CNS) - San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Chief Brian Fennessy is leaving the department to become chief of the Orange County Fire Authority, it was reported today.
NBC7 in San Diego reported that Fennessy confirmed the northward move late Wednesday night, and a formal announcement was expected today. His last day as chief in San Diego is expected to be April 13.
Fennessy has been chief of the SDFD for less than three years. He was picked by Mayor Kevin Faulconer to replace the retiring Javier Mainar in early September 2015, confirmed by the City Council later that month and sworn in on Nov. 12, 2015. Before taking over the top leadership job, Fennessy was an assistant chief with the department.
Fennessy has more than 40 years of firefighting experience and joined the SDFD in 1990 after previously working for the U.S. Forest Service, where he was a hotshot member. In his role as assistant chief before taking over the department, he was in charge of emergency operations at all city fire stations and was credited with strengthening the SDFD's helicopter firefighting.
The Orange County Fire Authority that Fennessy will now lead covers all of Orange County's unincorporated areas as well as several of its largest cities, including San Clemente, Irvine, Mission Viejo, Santa Ana, Yorba Linda and Buena Park.