Chief Eric Peterson, the head of Santa Barbara County Fire since January 2015, made his retirement official today, formally announcing that he will step down at the end of October. Peterson has served as firefighter, engineer, captain, fire marshal, and other roles over the past 32 years. His total pay was about $188,000 in 2017, with benefits of about $146,000, according to Transparent California; county retirement benefits are based on various factors including age and years of service.
During his tenure, Chief Peterson was a veteran of many emergencies including Painted Cave, Zaca, Jesusita, Sherpa, Whittier, Thomas, and most recent Holiday Fire. He lives in Santa Barbara with his wife and two young kids.