San Diego Fire appoints lifeguard division chief

SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department announced Wednesday that a 23-year veteran lifeguard who’s been serving as interim lifeguard division chief for six months was appointed to the permanent post.

Fire-Rescue Chief Colin Stowell said James Gartland “has a passion for lifeguarding and is a dedicated member of our department and the San Diego community. He has the attributes, skills and experience that make him the best choice to lead the lifeguard division.”

Gartland graduated from San Diego State University and the Wharton College Mission Critical Team Professional Development Program. He has served as the chair of San Diego’s Aquatic Lifesaving Emergency Response Task Force and the Area Maritime Security Subcommittee on Preventative Nuclear Detection.

Gartland is currently the president of the Old Town Academy School Advisory Board and is a member of the Type 3 San Diego All-Hazards Incident Management Team.

“Attaining this position has been a dream of mine and I am honored to have been selected,” he said. “I am very proud of the lifeguards who serve our residents and visitors with excellence. I promise to continue my lifeguard service with honor and humility.”