San Luis Obispo fires, beware



The city of San Luis Obispo has hired a new fire chief to replace former chief John Callahan, who died of a heart attack during a city softball game. The new chief, Charlie Hines, has spent the last three years as the fire chief of Yakima City Fire Department in Washington.

Hines was chosen from a pool of 62 applicants. His salary is expected to be $148,394 a year, which he should start collecting after beginning work Dec. 6.

Hines was hired by the city of Yakima as a deputy chief in November 2005. Before that, he worked as a firefighter for the cities of Long Beach and La Habra and for the California Division of Forestry. He also worked as a firefighter/paramedic for the Long Beach, La Habra, and Westminster fire departments.

Hines will manage a budget of nearly $9.6 million, only a little more than the budget of his old Yakima department, though he will have only half as many personnel serving under him.

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