SANTA CLARA, Calif. (BCN/KTVU) - Santa Clara firefighters will welcome a new leader to replace retiring Chief Bill Kelly, who headed the department for the last seven years.
Chief Ruben Torres currently serves the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department and will begin his duties as Santa Clara's seventh fire chief on June 30.
He has been a firefighter for more than 33 years, and a senior member for more than 14.
"As Fire Chief, I recognize the importance of our organization being well-positioned and nimble to address the service delivery demands of a growing city while also continuing to deliver extraordinary service for Santa Clarans," Torres said in a statement.
According to records from Transparent California, Torres will be paid about $415,000 in wages and benefits.
In his current position, he makes about $300,000 annually.
City Manager Deanna Santana congratulated Torres and said the decision came after a national search.
"Chief Torres' strong progressive leadership abilities, collaborative style and his vast fire experience in culturally diverse communities will be huge assets for the City, the Fire Department and our community," Santana said in a news release.
"It was a very competitive process with strong candidates, and I am confident that Chief Torres will lead the Fire Department with honor and integrity."
Chief Bill Kelly became Santa Clara's fire chief in 2012, and is retiring after a career of almost 35 years.