The City Council is expected Tuesday to confirm Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s appointment of Assistant Chief of Business Operations Kevin Ester as interim chief of the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.
Ester will take over for former Chief Brian Fennessy, who left the department after 28 years to lead the Orange County Fire Authority.
“I am humbled and honored to be given this opportunity to lead the men and women of our Fire-Rescue Department,” Ester has said. “We have a workforce that gives their all in service to the citizens of our city, and have every day since 1989. I thank Chief Fennessy for his mentorship, and wish him and his family the best as he pursues new opportunities.”
Ester has held numerous SDFD roles over nearly 33 years, including firefighter, engineer, captain, battalion chief and deputy chief. He became assistant chief of business operations in 2016 and oversaw community risk reduction, the emergency command and data center, logistics, professional standards and human resources in the department.
City officials are currently seeking a permanent fire chief. Ester said he is a candidate for the post.
Fennessy, 58, was known for revamping the city’s helicopter program, which now has two firefighting and rescue helicopters with night-flying capabilities. He also reduced response times and championed the construction of new fire stations. Fennessy served as chief for two-and-a-half years.