New chief sworn in for San Diego Fire-Rescue Department - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

New chief sworn in for San Diego Fire-Rescue Department

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Brian Fennessy was sworn-in as the 17th chief of the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Thursday, succeeding the retired Javier Mainar.
   
The veteran firefighter of 38 years had been the SDFRD's assistant chief in charge of emergency operations.
   
"There's nobody with the experience and the knowledge of Chief Brian Fennessy about our fire-rescue operations, about what it takes to serve this great city of San Diego," said Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who appointed him to the position. The appointment was unanimously confirmed by the City Council.
   
The mayor said Fennessy, 56, will be in charge of reducing response times, building new fire stations, recruiting and retaining firefighters, and developing more diversity in the ranks.
   
Fennessy told a crowd at the main downtown fire station that city officials have addressed many areas of need for the department, following recession-era cutbacks.
   
"We're now going to focus on the health and welfare of our firefighters," Fennessy said, speaking at a podium in front of a paramedic vehicle. "With the partnership of Local 145, we've got some ideas on how to really, again, start to focus on the members of this department and grow our 
future leaders."
   
Local 145 is an affiliate of the International Association of Firefighters.
   
He said department personnel will fulfill the expectations of residents by responding quickly to calls, knowing what to do when they arrive, and treating people nicely.
   
"We treat people with dignity, we treat people with respect," Fennessy said.
   
"Those are the things -- and Chief Mainar would say the same -- those are the emails, the letters, the notes and the phone calls we get that make us the happiest," Fennessy said. "It doesn't matter if our crews have run 30 calls, we're out there treating people with dignity, respect and (courtesy)."
   
Fennessy joined the department in 1990 after previously working for the U.S. Forest Service. He's credited with strengthening the SDFRD's helicopter firefighting operation.
   
Mainar spent his entire 35-year career with the SDFRD, rising through the ranks after beginning as a firefighter. He was chief for six years.

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