Burbank City Manager Justin Hess announced Wednesday the selection of Danny Alvarez as the next fire chief for the Burbank Fire Department. Alvarez will replace outgoing Fire Chief Eric Garcia, who is set to retire on Aug. 31.
Alvarez returns to the BFD from the city of Santa Monica, where he has been serving as fire chief since March 2022. Prior to that, Alvarez dedicated 25 years of his career to servicing the city of Burbank.
“It is with tremendous honor and gratitude that I accept the position of fire chief for the city of Burbank. My years of service in this incredible community have shaped me both personally and professionally,” said Alvarez.
Alvarez’s homecoming is set for Sept. 1, but he won’t have too much catching up to do, as his previous positions with the department include acting fire chief, battalion chief, fire captain, fire engineer and fire prevention inspector.
“Returning to Burbank feels like a reunion with family. I am committed to building on the legacy of excellence that has been established here. Together, we will continue to innovate, serve and ensure the safety of the people we are privileged to protect,” he added.
During his previous tenure in Burbank, Alvarez was instrumental in various leadership roles including deputy fire chief since 2018. In that capacity, he oversaw 120 sworn personnel, 16 civilian staff and directly supervised five battalion chiefs, city officials said in a statement Wednesday.
Alvarez’s expertise in budget and personnel management, as well as policy development, equipped him to guide a complex department across ranks during his quarter-century in Burbank, city officials added.
Prior to serving in department leadership, Alvarez’s experience extended to roles such as recruiter, academy instructor, hazardous materials team member and, of course, firefighter.
A passionate advocate for regional and statewide fire service and emergency management organizations, the chief holds a bachelor’s degree in fire and emergency management from Waldorf University.
He has also undergone extensive education and training throughout his career. His accolades include certifications from the Center for Public Safety Excellence, LAFD Leadership Academy and acceptance into the Executive Fire Officer Program through the National Fire Academy.
Alvarez’s transition from fellow ISO Class 1-rated Santa Monica Fire Department to Burbank is seen as “a natural progression for a leader of his caliber,” officials stated. “The city of Burbank looks forward to his continued leadership, innovation and service to the community.”
Hess played a critical role in Alvarez’s return to the department. He welcomed the new chief in a statement to the Leader.
“We are excited to welcome Chief Alvarez back to the city of Burbank. His experience, dedication and innovative approach make him the ideal candidate to lead our fire department into the future,” said Hess. “Chief Alvarez’s commitment to public safety and service excellence will greatly benefit our community.”
First published in the August 5 print issue of the Burbank Leader.