Ventura Fire Department selects Kris McDonald as Assistant Fire Chief

McDonald brings extensive experience to the Assistant Fire Chief position.

Twenty-six-year veteran firefighter, Kris McDonald, has been selected as the next assistant fire chief with the Ventura Fire Department. This promotion follows the retirement of 29-year firefighter and Assistant Fire Chief Jack Hansen.

The Ventura Fire Department has a dedicated and talented team of firefighters serving our community,” said Chief David Endaya. “Kris has had a long and successful career with the department and will serve as a key member of Ventura Fire’s command staff in enhancing our services. He has continually demonstrated a commitment to public safety, serving our residents, and strong leadership skills in the workforce.”

With over 26 years in the fire service, and 18 years with Ventura Fire, McDonald brings extensive experience to the Assistant Fire Chief position. His fire service training includes expertise in fire operations and in California’s Incident Command System, or ICS.

Chief McDonald most recently served as a battalion chief and training chief and was responsible for managing ongoing training schedules, mobile radio communications, mobile data dispatch computers, and OptiCom Traffic Control Systems. Regionally, his specialty qualifications within California’s Incident Command Certification System include Resource Unit Leader, Task Force Leader, Strike Team Leader, and Division Group Supervisor.

I am thrilled and truly humbled to be selected for this opportunity,” said Chief McDonald. “I’ve spent the last 18 years of my career working for Ventura. I look forward to continuing the proactive and progressive work of our fire department in providing all-hazards response and emergency medical services to my community.”

Chief McDonald began his firefighting career in 1994 as a volunteer firefighter and EMT in northern California, where he was born and raised. He became a paramedic in 1997 and was hired by the Eureka Fire Department in 1998. In 2002, McDonald joined the Ventura Fire Family, hired as a lateral firefighter paramedic and seamlessly moved through the ranks of engineer, captain, and battalion chief.

He is currently pursuing his bachelor’s degree in Fire Administration, as well as various Section Chief position qualifications within California’s Incident Command Certification System, which are all responsible for major areas of extended incident management.

McDonald assumed the role of assistant fire chief upon the retirement of former Assistant Chief Jack Hansen on December 30, 2021. Hansen passionately served Ventura for 29 years, was awarded Firefighter of the Year in 1998, honored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving in 1998, and earned numerous commendations for going the extra mile throughout his career.

To learn more about the Ventura Fire Department’s leadership team, visit

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