Fire Department


Mission Statement

The South Pasadena Fire Department is committed to the preservation and protection of life, property, and environment from the adverse effects of fire, medical, and hazardous conditions through sustained training, progressive education, and constant diligence to provide the highest level of customer service.

About the Fire Department

The South Pasadena Fire Department serves a population of nearly 25,000 people, covering 3.44 square miles. There is one fire station that houses an engine company, a rescue ambulance and a light and air unit. The City is located at the west end of the San Gabriel Valley and is adjacent to the cities of Los Angeles, Alhambra, San Marino and Pasadena. While the city is largely residential, with a mix of homes and apartments it has a wildland interface in the hill area. The Arroyo Seco wash also runs through the city on the west side. South Pasadena Fire is a full service department providing fire/rescue services, paramedics, safety education, inspections, plan reviews, and emergency management. The department operates in conjunction with the other thirteen agencies affiliated with Verdugo Fire Communications. All thirteen agencies within Area C operate under the Unified Response agreement. The South Pasadena Fire Department is proud to serve the residents, businesses, and visitors of the City of South Pasadena with a high degree of professionalism.

About the Fire Chief

Paul Riddle

On July 24, 2017, Deputy Chief Paul Riddle was appointed as the City of South Pasadena’s Fire Chief, making Chief Riddle the 17th Fire Chief in the 110-year history of the Department. His appointment followed the City Council’s approval of a new, Two City Cooperative Fire Services Agreement with the City of San Marino.

Chief Riddle was born and raised in West Covina, California. His father was a Firefighter for Pasadena Fire Department and his older brother currently works as a Firefighter for the City of Seattle. Chief Riddle started his career in the fire service in 1991 as a Volunteer Firefighter with the City of South Pasadena. He was brought on as a full-time Firefighter in July of 1992. He has served the South Pasadena Fire Department as an Engineer, Captain, Battalion Chief, and in 2014 was promoted to Deputy Fire Chief. As the Deputy Fire Chief, he was in charge of training for the Cities of South Pasadena, San Marino, and San Gabriel Fire Departments as part of Verdugo Cities Fire. He has also held the positions of Department Training Officer, Safety Officer, Emergency Manager, and Fitness Coordinator. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Management as well as an Associate Degree in Science in Fire Technology from Mt. San Antonio College.

“Chief Riddle has the experience, professionalism, and leadership qualities necessary for the position,” stated Interim City Manager Elaine Aguilar. As Fire Chief, Riddle will be responsible for leading a department composed of 21 full-time uniformed personnel, 1 full-time Fire Prevention Specialists, and 1 part-time administrative staff.

Additionally, on Wednesday, July 19th, the City Council approved an agreement with the City of San Marino for the sharing of Fire Command Staff. The agreement identifies each City having its own Fire Chief and Division Chief. The remaining Division Chief will be identified as the Shared Command Position. Each City will be responsible for 50% of the mutually agreed upon shared cost of services for the Shared Command Position. The agreement will allow each City to continue providing the highest level of customer service to the communities at a reduced cost.


The Administration front office provides administrative support for the South Pasadena Fire Department. Hours of operation are Monday through Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for any questions please call the front office at (626) 403-7300.

Department Administrative Management is overseen by Chief Paul Riddle. Chief Riddle serves as the liaison between department administrative personnel, City Staff, the Public Safety Commission and management in surrounding agencies. He also serves as the agency's CICCS representative and as the Training Officer for the three cities operating under the management JPA. Chief Riddle has been a member of the South Pasadena Fire Department for 30 years and promoted through the ranks, starting as a Firefighter.