Council approves new Fire Chief

Pat McElroy takes over with 32 years of experience

John Palminteri, KEYT NewsChannel 3 Senior Reporter, johnp1250@aol.com
POSTED: 02:09 PM PST Jan 30, 2013    UPDATED: 12:33 PM PST Jan 30, 2013 
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

A veteran fire fighter is now the new Santa Barbara City Fire Chief.  Pat McElroy was officially approved for the position by the city council this afternoon.

He says even after three decades in the fire department he still loves his job and the staff of about 100 he works with.

The department has an annual budget of about $20-million and eight city stations.

He says the challenges are complex for the area.  "We have a harbor.
We have an airport. We have a major transportation corridor. We have the obvious wild land situation," said McElroy.  "In addition, a complex and interesting population and a tourist attraction as well.  So, it's a really interesting place to work, that's why we attract some of the best firefighters in the country."

McElroy emerged from a nationwide field of 35 finalists to get the position.