Fire Operations Division Chief Pat McElroy has been appointed interim chief of the Santa Barbara City Fire Department, City Administrator Jim Armstrong announced Tuesday.
McElroy will replace Fire Chief Andrew DiMizio, who is retiring Dec. 14 after 38 years of service.
McElroy has worked for the department for 32 years in various leadership positions. As fire operations division chief, he manages 95 firefighting personnel, eight fire stations, and the airport rescue and firefighting operation, according to city officials.
A statement released by the city said he has extensive experience cooperating with regional and state fire agencies and commanding citywide emergencies, including the Tea and Jesusita fires.
He received a bachelor’s degree from UCSB.
City officials said a recruitment process is under way, with a permanent chief expected to be hired by early 2013.