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Santa Barbara County Names New Fire Chief

Michael Dyer will take the helm of the department on Aug. 3

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors has approved the hiring of Michael Dyer as the county’s new fire chief, 5th District Supervisor Joe Centeno, the board chairman, announced Wednesday. Dyer begins his job Aug. 3.

Michael Dyer
Michael Dyer

“After a nationwide recruitment search, I’m pleased to announce the selection of Los Angeles County Fire Chief Deputy Dyer as Santa Barbara County’s new fire chief,” Centeno said. “The Board of Supervisors had a very difficult choice, but feels Chief Dyer’s experience and leadership skills make him the right choice to lead our county Fire Department.”

Dyer has been chief deputy of the Los Angeles County Fire Department since 2006 and has more than 30 years of firefighting and lifesaving experience in a variety of first-responder, management and executive capacities.

He said he is looking forward to the new challenges of heading up the department.

“It is a great honor to be selected as the new chief,” Dyer said. “It’s an exciting opportunity, and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

Dyer is accustomed to a wide range of fire incidents and emergencies. As chief deputy of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, he has acted as fire chief as needed, and overseen the department’s emergency operations, including during the 2007 wildland fire siege in Southern California. From 2002-06, he served as deputy chief, providing executive leadership on regional operations, special operations and support services.

Los Angeles County is one of the nation’s largest counties with more than 4,080 square miles and a population of more than 10 million people. More than 65 percent of the county is unincorporated, falling within the department’s 2,278-square-mile coverage area. The department maintains about 167 fire stations with 242 fire engines, 32 ladder trucks, 85 paramedic units, seven helicopters, 11 wildland fire camps and numerous other specialized vehicles and facilities.

Dyer also was the department’s assistant fire chief from 2000-02, a battalion chief from 1998 to 2000, a fire captain from 1993-98, a firefighter specialist from 1990-93, and a firefighter/paramedic from 1986-90. For eight years, from 1978-86, he worked as an ocean lifeguard with the county’s Beaches and Harbors Division.

He is certified as a fire chief by the California State Fire Marshal’s Office and has a master’s degree in public administration from California Sate University, Northridge. He also is a certified hazardous materials specialist and a certified paramedic.

— William Boyer is Santa Barbara County’s communications director.

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