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Public Safety

San Diego City begins search for its next fire chief

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer swears in Colin Stowell as the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department's new chief, August 13, 2018.
City of San Diego
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer swears in Colin Stowell as the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department's new chief, August 13, 2018.

The city of San Diego on Monday announced a nationwide search for a new Fire-Rescue Department chief to replace Colin Stowell, who is retiring this August.

The job search will include public feedback via community forums and a public survey, according to city officials.

Stowell, the city's 18th fire chief, first joined the department in 1988 and served the city for 34 years.


San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, who described Stowell's dedication and service as invaluable, wished him all the best in retirement.

"As we search for a new fire chief, we'll be gathering community input to ensure we find candidates who reflect the values and priorities of our city," Gloria said. "I encourage all San Diegans to participate and help us identify an effective leader who'll work hard to continue to keep San Diegans safe."

Job candidates will undergo a series of interviews, including one with a panel of community leaders nominated by city councilmembers and Gloria, according to the city. Final interviews are scheduled for May, with candidate selection being anticipated in June.

Two community meetings scheduled in early April will allow residents "the opportunity to share their thoughts and opinions about the qualities and characteristics they desire in the city's next fire chief," according to the city.

The meetings schedule are:

  • 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., April 3, at Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center, 6401 Skyline Drive; and
  • 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., April 4 at Kearny Mesa Recreation Center, 3170 Armstrong St.

An RSVP is not required, and the city encourages residents wishing to attend the meetings to register at

According to the city, language interpretation and accessibility services will be available if requested.

Those who can't attend the meetings may offer input at

The city is working with Bob Murray & Associates to lead the recruitment process.

More information is available at

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