Rob Lewin
Rob Lewin, seen here in May during a press conference following the Jan. 9, 2018, Montecito debris flows, will step down as head of Santa Barbara County’s Office of Emergency Services in May. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

Rob Lewin, director of Santa Barbara County’s Office of Emergency Management, will be leaving his post in May.

County officials on Wednesday confirmed Lewin’s departure, which had been rumored over the last few weeks.

Lewin, the former fire chief for Cal Fire in San Luis Obispo County, had overseen the Office of Emergency Management for the last four years, a period that included major incidents such as the Whittier and Thomas fires, and the deadly Montecito debris flows on Jan. 9, 2018.

In an email sent to county leaders, County Executive Officer Mona Miyasato praised Lewin, crediting him with assembling “the best OEM team we’ve ever had.”

Lewin plans to establish a private consulting practice to assist local communities in disaster preparedness and planning.

Miyasato said her office will be developing a transition plan for the Office of Emergency Management over the next few months.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.