Kevin Donnelly has been named permanent chief of the Lodi Fire Department after serving the past seven months as interim chief.
Lodi City Manager Blair King made the announcement Thursday. The Lodi City Council is scheduled to consider approving the contract terms on Wednesday (Jan. 20), with Donnelly's official start date on Jan. 25.
"Kevin's work the last seven months made this an easy decision," King said. "He's performed admirably. I appreciate his leadership and the significant contribution he's made to the Fire Department and City."
Before becoming interim chief on June 26, 2009, Donnelly served as division chief for six years. He was promoted to the interim chief position upon the retirement of former Chief Mike Pretz.
"I got into the fire service to be a fireman," Donnelly said Thursday. "It wasn't until I went to college and had more experience did I want to get to the next level."
Donnelly has spent 24 years in the fire service, the last 19 with the City of Lodi. He has served as a firefighter, engineer, captain, battalion chief, division chief, and was named fire marshal in 2008.
He noted that in his career, the Lodi Fire Department has expanded its services to include duties such as hazardous materials removal, urban search and rescue and, most recently, homeland security matter.
"The challenges here are the same as everywhere else," Donnelly said. "I'm fortunate that we have a team of highly trained professionals who care for the community and their department."
Donnelly will earn $145,000 annually, pending contract approval. His former division chief position will remain vacant.
Donnelly has been involved in the development of the Operations Section of the California Fire Chiefs Association and has served on the executive board. He has also served as chairperson of the San Joaquin County Fire Chief’s Training Officers Committee and is a past president of the IAFF Local 1225.
Donnelly has an associate's degree in Fire Science Technology from San Joaquin Delta College and a bachelor's degree in Occupational Studies for Emergency Service Management from California State University, Long Beach.
Kevin and his wife, Cathy, live in Lodi.