Fire Chief

South Pasadena Fire Department

Location: Pasadena, CA

Fire Chief
South Pasadena Fire Department
City of South Pasadena, California
Annual Salary:
$163,236 - $218,760 DOE/DOQ

The City of South Pasadena is seeking a dynamic and community-focused individual to serve as their next Fire Chief!This role requires a leader who is approachable, personable, and enthusiastic about engaging with the local community, fostering relationships with civic groups, and working closely with City officials. The ideal candidate will lead the Fire Department through a period of significant growth, assessing the need for potential expansion beyond the current single-station system. With a budget of $7.5 million and oversight of 22 staff members, the Fire Chief will also evaluate and evolve operational agreements with neighboring cities to ensure the highest level of service. This charismatic leader must possess a strong technical understanding of fire operations, particularly in small, highly engaged communities, and demonstrate excellent interpersonal skills. The successful candidate will be a true public figure, respected by the council, fire associations, and the executive team, and will be committed to longevity in their dedicated service to the City of South Pasadena. Make a significant impact by ensuring the highest standards of safety, emergency response, and fire prevention – apply today!

View the full recruitment brochure here:

The Fire Chief will ensure the protection of life and property from fires, explosions, and disasters. They will effectively direct the functions of the Fire Department, organizing and coordinating the activities of 20 firefighting personnel, administering a $7.5 million budget, and assuring that the Department operates at peak efficiency. The Fire Chief will directly supervise the Division Chiefs and oversee all subordinate staff through the chain of command. This includes assigning, reviewing, and coordinating work; providing instruction and guidance; and selecting qualified new employees. The Fire Chief will ensure a rapid and efficient response to emergency calls while seeking opportunities for operational improvements that best serve the community. They will also conduct field inspections of fire hazardous materials and emergency management operations to ensure the department's readiness and compliance with safety standards.

The Fire Chief plays a vital role in the community, acting as a liaison between the City, the Fire Department, regulatory entities, other local emergency services, and the public. This involves providing technical assistance to civic groups and individuals, assessing and responding to citizens' needs, and interpreting and ensuring compliance with regulations, Memorandums of Understanding, ordinances, federal, state, and local codes, and the Department Duty Manual. By serving as a proficient administrator and inspirational leader, the Fire Chief will guide the Department toward the highest standards of excellence. Through strategic oversight, effective management, and a commitment to fostering a collaborative and motivated team, the Chief will ensure that the South Pasadena Fire Department consistently delivers exceptional service and meets the evolving needs of the growing community.



The ideal candidate will be a motivated and visionary leader with a deep understanding of both the operational and administrative aspects of fire service. This candidate will be technically strong with comprehensive expertise in modern firefighting methods, emergency medical services, fire prevention, and departmental administration. The ability to conduct thorough research, prepare clear and concise reports, and perform complex procedural and statistical analyses is essential. The ideal Fire Chief will have a proven track record of strategic vision and operational excellence.

The next Fire Chief will have exceptional interpersonal skills, creating a collaborative and inclusive environment within the Fire Department. This individual will be a charismatic public figure, able to engage with the community, civic groups, and other stakeholders to assess and respond to their needs, ensuring the department maintains strong public support. The City seeks a Fire Chief who appreciates the unique dynamics of South Pasadena, a small but highly engaged community. They will be eager to grow in their role and protect the Department’s exceptional reputation.


Any combination of experience and education/training that would likely provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:

  • Supervisory Experience: At least three (3) years of administrative, command, operational, and supervisory responsibility.
  • Fire Experience: Extensive experience in fire service.
  • Licensure: Chief Fire Officer Certification and possession of a valid California Class “3” Operator’s License.

Desirable Education and Certification

  • Education: A bachelor’s degree in fire science, public administration, and/or a related field.
  • Experience: Prior work in a similar-sized agency, ideally within the State of California.


An annual salary of $163,236 - $218,760 DOE/DOQ plus a generous benefits package.


For first consideration, apply by July 10th at: 

Save the Dates: Round one interviews will take place in person on July 24th. Finalists will move forward to round two in-person interviews that will take place on July 25th. Selected candidates need to be available for both days.

Please contact your recruiter Levi Kuhlman with any inquiries:







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