Selected from 35 candidates, McElroy was serving as the Interim Fire Chief following the retirement of Andy DiMizio in December. Chief McElroy will oversee the Fire Department’s $22 million budget and 110 employees in eight fire stations.
Chief McElroy has worked with the City’s Fire Department for 32 years, where he has served in various leadership positions since 1990. In his most recent position as the Fire Operations Division Chief, he managed 95 firefighting personnel, eight fire stations, and the airport rescue and firefighting operation. He has extensive experience cooperating with regional and state fire agencies and commanding citywide emergencies, including the most recent Tea and Jesusita Fires. He received a Bachelor’s degree from UCSB.
According to City Administrator Jim Armstrong, “It was a well qualified group of finalists and, in the end, I chose Chief McElroy due to his overall qualifications, his tenure with the department, and his performance during his acting chief assignment. He is well regarded within the department and by fire professionals in the region.” As part of the recruitment effort, Armstrong consulted community members, members of the Fire and Police Commission, firefighter association representatives, and technical experts.
Chief McElroy lives in Santa Barbara with his wife Bonnie Kerwin and children Darcy, Brendan, and Duffy.