SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Chief Brian Fennessy is leaving the department, Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced Thursday.
Faulconer said Fennessy, a 28-year SDFRD veteran, has "accepted a position with a fire agency in Southern California."
SDFRD Assistant Chief of Business Operations Kevin Ester has been named the interim fire chief, Faulconer said. Ester has been with the SDFRD for nearly 33 years, according to city officials.
"Chief Fennessy has been an outstanding leader of our Fire-Rescue Department and we wish him well as he takes on this great opportunity. One of the strengths of our department is its preparation of future leaders within the chain of command who can step up when needed. The department is in great hands with Assistant Chief Ester, who has decades of experience in all facets of San Diego Fire-Rescue."
Fennessy was SDFRD chief since September 2015.
In a statement, Fennessy said: "I am exceptionally proud of the men and women of SDFD and feel confident in the future direction of the department under Chief Ester's leadership. I am blessed to have raised three children while proudly serving the residents of San Diego. My family and I view this next chapter in our lives as an outstanding opportunity for personal and professional growth."
Ester said of his elevation to interim chief: "I am humbled and honored to be given this opportunity to lead the men and women of our Fire-Rescue Department. 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."
City officials said they will begin the process to find a permanent chief next week.