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Michael Harris with Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Services discusses the Gap fire with County board of Supervisors (July, 2008).

Paul Wellman

Michael Harris with Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Services discusses the Gap fire with County board of Supervisors (July, 2008).


Emergency Operations Chief Stepping Down

Michael Harris Leaving After 23 Years with County


Michael Harris, Santa Barbara County’s Emergency Operations chief, is leaving after 23 years with the county.

In an email, Harris said opportunities presented themselves, and he had “a chance to join another great organization,” though he didn’t elaborate on where he might be going.

In 2011, Harris and his department moved out of the basement of the County Administration building and into a state-of-the-art facility near County Fire’s headquarters off Cathedral Oaks in Goleta. The 11,000-square-foot facility is now the center of management for information, resource support, and decision-making during a local emergency.

“Whether it was during my executive time at Public Health where we helped poor women access health care by expanding services, or building a new emergency operations center, working at the county has been an absolute pleasure,” Harris said.

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