Chief Brian Fennessy
Orange County Fire Authority
Brian Fennessy became Fire Chief of the Orange County Fire Authority on April 16, 2018.
Chief Fennessy began his career in 1978 with the US Department of Agriculture's United States Forest Service and the US Department of Interior's Bureau of Land Management working as a hotshot crewmember, hotshot/helishot/helitack captain and ultimately crew superintendent.
In 1990, Fennessy joined the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFD) and ultimately became Chief of the Department in 2015. One of his many accomplishments while with the SDFD was developing & establishing a multi-mission Fire/Rescue/EMS helicopter program designed to serve the citizens of the City of San Diego and the region.
Chief Fennessy has enjoyed a diversity of executive leadership and management experiences in both the wildland fire and metropolitan fire service communities. He believes that Mission-Driven Culture (MDC) is the future of the fire service and has presented on this topic at a variety of local, state, and national venues.
Chief Fennessy has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and has participated in hundreds of Fire Service, NIMS, and Incident Command Systems courses throughout his career. Fennessy has also completed many specialized leadership-training courses, including the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) Fire Service Executive Development Institute (FSEDI) program and for the last ten-years, represented the IAFC on the NWCG Leadership Subcommittee.
Chief Fennessy has held multiple Incident Command System (ICS) certifications and positions, has also served on National Incident Management Teams, and developed one of the first All-Hazard Incident Management Teams (AHIMT) in the US.
Chief Fennessy was awarded the 2023 Chief of the year award by the IAFC.