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Santa Barbara Fire Capt. Pat McElroy Promoted to Battalion Chief

McElroy, who has been with the department since 1981, steps in after the retirement of Christopher Blair.

Santa Barbara Fire Capt. Pat McElroy has been promoted to the rank of battalion chief after the retirement of Battalion Chief Christopher Blair on Dec. 13, Fire Chief Ron Prince announced.

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Battalion Chief Pat McElroy
McElroy began his career as a firefighter with the city of Santa Barbara Fire Department when he was hired on Sept. 8, 1981. He was promoted to captain on Dec. 15, 1990. He was voted Firefighter of the Year in 1987 and 1995. He is a longtime Firefighters Association member, and most recently served as board president, and as chairman of the Firefighters Political Action Committee.

McElroy’s significant incidents include spending 30 days in Mississippi for Hurricane Katrina, three major fires on Stearns Wharf, the Santa Barbara Bank & Trust fire, the Painted Cave Fire, as Tea Fire incident commander, the La Conchita landslide, the 1995 downtown floods, the Northridge earthquake, Los Angeles civil disturbances and several assignments on wildfires as far way as Montana.

In 2004, McElroy received an Exemplary Action Report while assigned to the Cerrito Fire in Southern California for his prompt decisions that resulted in saving crew members’ and residents’ lives.

In his new position as battalion chief, McElroy will supervise and direct the daily operations of the C-Shift fire crews.

He and his wife, Bonnie Kerwin, make their home in Santa Barbara along with their children, Darcy, Brendan and Duffy.

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