Brian Fennessy is in line to be the 17th chief of the city's Fire-Rescue Department. As the department's assistant chief for emergency operations, Fennessy was the driving force in developing and implementing the city's helicopter program. San Diego's night-flying-capable firefighting and rescue Bell Helicopter
212 and 412EP respond to more than 400 calls and log 400 to 500 flight hours each year while providing water drops, rescues and other support throughout San Diego County's 4,526 sq mi. "These helicopters are the only air resources in the region capable of providing night firefighting operations," the city's mayor, Kevin Faulconer, said Sept. 3 while announcing Fennessy's appointment to succeed retiring Chief Javier Mainar. Fennessy joined the department as a firefighter in 1990 after serving 13 years as a firefighter and supervisor with the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The San Diego City Council must approve Fennessy's appointment.