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New S.D. Fire Chief Prepares For Budget Cuts

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Aired 10/13/09

The new Chief of the San Diego Fire Department is bracing for budget cuts but says public safety will still be the priority. The department’s second in command was officially announced as the new Fire Chief on Tuesday.

New Fire Chief Javier Mainar has been with the San Diego Fire Department for nearly 30 years.
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Above: New Fire Chief Javier Mainar has been with the San Diego Fire Department for nearly 30 years.

The new Chief of the San Diego Fire Department is bracing for budget cuts but says public safety will still be the priority. The department’s second in command was officially announced as the new Department Chief on Tuesday.

Chief Javier Mainar has been with the department for nearly 30 years. He was one of 40 people that applied for the job.

Mainar takes over the department as it's facing the likelihood of budget cuts amidst the city’s $180 million deficit. Mainar says he’ll do his best to make sure the department can continue operating in an effective way.

“I’m going to make recommendations that I can manage. And if it’s something that’s going to impact service levels, I’m going to make it very clear what those impacts are going to be to the best of our ability to determine,” he says.

The fire and police departments account for more than half of the general fund budget. Eighty-five percent of the fire department budget covers personnel. Mainar says he hasn’t yet been told how much he’ll have to cut from the fire budget.

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