Brian Fennessy is the Fire Chief of the Orange County Fire Authority in California. This position is his latest of many executive leadership and management experiences in both the wildland fire and metropolitan fire service.
In his PrepTalk, Chief Fennessy describes his leadership journey and urges emergency management to build a mission-driven culture. He argues that a mission-driven culture is critical to organizational success during moments of calm and times of chaos.
- Leader's Intent - National Wildfire Coordination Group
- The Wildland Fire Leadership Development Program
- San Diego Fire-Rescue Department: A Mission-Driven Culture
- International Association of Fire Chiefs: Learn and Develop
Brian Fennessy became Chief of the Orange County Fire Authority in April 2018. He began his career in 1978 with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s United States Forest Service and the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management. In 1990, Fennessy joined the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFD) and ultimately became Chief of Department in 2015. One of his many accomplishments while with the SDFD was developing and establishing a multi-mission Fire/Rescue/EMS helicopter program designed to serve the citizens of the City of San Diego and the region.
Chief Fennessy has enjoyed a diversity of executive leadership and management experiences in both the wildland fire and metropolitan fire service communities. He believes that Mission-Driven Culture is the future of the fire service and has presented on this topic at a variety of local, state and national venues. Chief Fennessy has held multiple Incident Command System certifications and positions, served on National Incident Management Teams, and developed one of the first All-Hazard Incident Management Teams in the US. He currently serves as the representative for the nine Western Division FEMA Urban Search & Rescue Task Force Sponsoring Agency Chiefs, is vice-chair of the California Fire Chiefs Association Metro Chiefs and vice-chair of the FIRESCOPE Board of Directors.