Today, City Manager David White announced the appointment of Danny Alvarez to lead the Santa Monica Fire Department as its new Fire Chief. Alvarez comes to Santa Monica from fellow ISO Class 1-rated Burbank Fire Department where he has spent the last 25 years and currently serves as Deputy Fire Chief.  

“We had an exceptionally strong talent pool for our next Fire Chief, but ultimately, Chief Alvarez rose to the top due to his well-rounded experience, data-driven approach to management, and his commitment and track record to improving diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said City Manager White. “He also brings a deep love of the fire service and is focused on building meaningful relationships with the community and employees he serves. We are extremely excited to have Chief Alvarez join our Santa Monica team.” 

As the City of Burbank’s Deputy Fire Chief, Alvarez has been an integral part of that department’s leadership team since 2018. In this capacity, he provided oversight of 120 sworn personnel, 16 civilian staff, and directly supervised five battalion chiefs. Alvarez led equity and inclusion initiatives for the department, including through the recruitment and training process. Well versed in budget and personnel management and policy development, Alvarez has experience leading a complex department across ranks of the fire service during his quarter century in Burbank. Other roles include acting fire chief, battalion chief, fire captain, fire engineer for both hazmat and fire prevention inspection, recruitment academy instructor, urban search and rescue, and, of course, firefighter.  

“I am deeply honored to be selected as the next fire chief for the City of Santa Monica and to be joining the City’s leadership team,” said Chief Danny Alvarez. “The Santa Monica Fire Department has earned an excellent reputation as a premier fire agency that delivers unparalleled service to the community. I look forward to serving the City of Santa Monica and working alongside the dedicated employees of this great organization to continue the forward progression of the Santa Monica Fire Department.” 

SMFD operates out of five stations and a Public Safety Facility that houses the Department’s Administrative Offices and Fire Prevention Division. The Fire Chief, two Deputy Chiefs, Training Chief, Fire Marshal, and three Battalion Chiefs are supported by over 136.9 personnel (122 sworn and 14.9 non-sworn). The Department has a total operating budget of $44,514,250 and responds to approximately 19,000 calls annually.  

Chief Alvarez is active in regional and statewide fire service and emergency management organizations. He holds a bachelor’s degree in fire and emergency management from Waldorf University and has engaged in extensive education and training throughout his career, including certifications from the Center for Public Safety Excellence, LAFD Leadership Academy, and has been accepted into the Executive Fire Officer Program through the National Fire Academy.  

Chief Alvarez joins the organization on February 28, 2022 with an annual salary of $282,048.