Fire Chief Chris Mailes was appointed to the position of Fire Chief on March 27, 2021. Previous to that he served as Acting Fire Chief, assuming the position on October 23, 2020, after the retirement of Fire Chief Eric Nickel. Chief Mailes oversees the eight-station fire department with 104 employees.
A 28-year member of the SBFD, Chief Mailes previously held the rank of Battalion Chief and was most recently assigned to the Operations Division as a shift BC. Prior to that assignment, he served as the Department’s Training Officer.
A native of the City of Santa Barbara, Chief Mailes grew up on the Mesa, attended local schools and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science from UCSB. He holds a Chief Officer Certification from the California State Fire Marshal’s Office. He is also a state licensed paramedic.