Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced the appointment of Colin Stowell as San Diego Fire-Rescue’s new leader on Monday.
“Public safety is our city’s top propriety,” Faulconer said. “I’m confident that Chief Stowell is the right person to carry that vision forward and continue making the investments needed to keep our neighborhood safe.”
The newly appointed chief was born and raised in San Diego.
He graduated from Mira Mesa High School in 1985 and received his Associate Degree in Fire Science from Miramar College.
Stowell went on to serve with the San Diego All-Hazards Incident Management Team and the San Diego Fire-Rescue as a captain, battalion chief, and deputy chief.
In November of 2016, Stowell was named the chief at Heartland Fire and Rescue, which serves the cities of El Cajon, La Mesa and Lemon Grove.
“It is a privilege and an honor to be returning home standing in front of Fire Station No. 1 where I was first assigned as a probationary firefighter more than 30 years ago,” Chief Stowell said Monday.
The search for a new chief began in March after Chief Fennessy left his position in San Diego to accept a new job in Orange County.
Potential candidates were interviewed by community and professional interview panels.
“We’ve been focused over the past few years on creating one San Diego by making investments on public safety that deliver results for every neighborhood,” Faulconer said. “No matter where you live in San Diego, you should get equal access to public services.”
According to the mayor, three new fire stations will be opening in San Diego County in July. The city has also purchased new helicopters in preparation for the upcoming wildfire season.
Stowell will oversee more than 1,200 firefighters, lifeguards and support staff in his new position.
“The men and women in this department are true professionals dedicated to providing the highest level of service to our citizens of San Diego,” Chief Stowell said. “I’m honored and excited to return and continue our work together.”
The council will hold a confirmation hearing on Chief Stowell’s appointment later this month.