City Manager Appoints Chief of South Lake Tahoe Fire & Rescue

South Lake Tahow, CA…South Lake Tahoe City Manager, Joe Irvin, has appointed Jim Drennan to the position of Fire Chief, effective August 9. Mr. Irvin stated, “Chief Drennan is a collaborative leader who leans into regional initiatives to improve response capabilities throughout the Basin. He not only makes South Lake Tahoe safer, but works to make the entire Basin safer for residents and visitors alike. His leadership is founded on strong character, doing the right thing, and walking the walk. He doesn’t ask of anyone anything he wouldn’t or hasn’t done himself. That is the mark of a true leader and I’m proud to name him as our next Fire Chief.”

Drennan is a long-time fire and rescue professional, having served the City of South Lake Tahoe Fire & Rescue (SLTFR) since January 2000. He has held nearly all positions, starting out as a Reserve Firefighter and promoting through the ranks to Battalion Chief in 2016. He most recently served as the Interim Fire Chief. Chief Drennan stated, “It is an honor to be appointed as Fire Chief of a City that I love and have served for more than 22 years. The men and women of this department embody what it means to be in the Fire service and I am looking forward to leading them into the next chapter.”

In his time with the City, Drennan has managed multiple engine companies, provided incident command at large incidents, commanded engine company emergency response, and directed station activities related to fire suppression, inspection, prevention, training and public education. Most recently, as a Battalion Chief, Drennan assumed full command responsibility for fire suppression and emergency response. He has been assigned to the Training Chief, Administration Chief, and Operations Chief positions at different times over the last six years. During the Caldor Fire, he worked in the Emergency Operations Center as well as at the command post as a Liaison for the City to help coordinate response. Once the fire made it to the summit he spent most of his time in the field working with local resources. In addition, Drennan works closely with the other Tahoe Basin fire entities to ensure mutual aid and joint emergency response is seamless. After the department secured the SAFER grant in 2020 for seven firefighter positions, he led the re-opening of Fire Station 2 to support the growing needs of the community. He has also created and implemented the Firefighter Rescue Policy for SLTFR and built the South Shore Response Plan, unifying response with local agencies.

Drennan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR and has completed the California Fire Chiefs Association Officer Leadership curriculum. He has served as Adjunct Faculty for the LTCC Lake Tahoe Basin Fire Academy since 2007 and is a member of the Echo Lakes Association as a voting Board Member.

City of South Lake Tahoe

The City of South Lake Tahoe is a general law city in El Dorado County, CA, that was founded on November 30, 1965. Located 190 miles northeast of San Francisco, CA and 60 miles southwest of Reno, NV in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, South Lake Tahoe boasts one of the most unique settings in the world, at the edge of an alpine lake of great natural beauty and environmental value. The city limits encompass an area of approximately 16 square miles with an average elevation of more than 6,200 feet above sea level and a population of 22,525.

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