San Luis Obispo fire chief says he'll retire in November

John Callahan
John Callahan

San Luis Obispo Fire Department Chief John Callahan announced Tuesday that he will retire in November after 37 years in firefighting — five of them with the city.

Before coming to San Luis Obispo, Callahan worked 32 years in the Los Angeles Fire Department, retiring there as deputy chief.

Callahan is credited with leading the improvements at San Luis Obispo’s Emergency Operations Center — a central command post for all city resources during disasters.

“The department and the community will benefit from his service for a long time to come,” Mayor Dave Romero said in a letter to Fire Department to employees Tuesday. “I can’t tell you what a terrific chief he has been — one of the best I’ve worked with in my 50-plus years of service with the city.”

Callahan and his wife Lynne, a registered nurse, will continue to live on the Central Coast. Callahan said he plans to continue his service to the YMCA and the Rotary Club of San Luis Obispo de Tolosa.

The city will soon begin a national recruitment process to replace Callahan.