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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Tuesday, September 25, 2012

City Fire Chief Announces Retirement

After 38 years of public service, City Fire Chief Andrew DiMizio announced that he will retire from his position on December 14.


As Fire Chief, DiMizio oversees a $21 million budget and 109 employees in the areas of fire suppression, prevention, inspection, and emergency services. After serving the City Fire Department in numerous positions, including Interim Fire Chief for several months, he was officially appointed to lead the Fire Department in 2009.

Andy has done an outstanding job managing the Fire Department, from helping the community prepare for a natural disaster to fighting major fires like the Jesusita Fire that threatened the community a few days after he was appointed,” said City Administrator Jim Armstrong.

Under DiMizio’s leadership, the Fire Station 1 remodel was completed. The project included a state-of-the-art Emergency Operations Center to coordinate a disaster. Fire Administrative Offices also finished construction earlier this year, allowing department staff to operate in a seismically safe building. He worked closely with homeowners associations and the Firefighters Alliance to carry out many programs and projects over the past four years. More recently, he worked with department staff to prepare a 5-year plan of goals and objectives for fire response, prevention, and emergency preparedness that will help the department continue its work long after his retirement.

After earning his degree from UCSB, DiMizio began his fire career with the U.S. Forest Service. He joined the City of Santa Barbara as a firefighter in 1980 and received promotions to Fire Engineer in 1985 and Fire Captain in 1991. As Fire Captain, he was recognized as Firefighter of the Year in 1991, 1995, and 2000. In 2001, he rose to the position of Fire Battalion Chief where he was responsible for managing daily operations and emergency response for a platoon of 29 firefighters.

The Santa Barbara City Fire Department is one of the best in the nation because of its long tradition, great staff and the wonderful community that it serves; and I know that it will continue to be so after my departure. After 38 years in the Fire Service, the time has come for me to look towards new personal challenges.” said Andrew DiMizio. “I have been blessed to have had such a great staff to work with during my tenure.”

DiMizio is a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, Western Fire Chiefs Association, and Fire Chiefs Association of Santa Barbara County. He is actively involved in his church, neighborhood organizations, and youth and family programs at the YMCA. He lives in the Santa Barbara area with his wife Terry and three children, Marcus, Anthony, and Jessica.

City Administrator Jim Armstrong is currently exploring recruitment options to fill the department head position.

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