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March 2, 2011 (Santee) – After an extensive nationwide search, Santee City Manager Keith Till has named Robert E. Leigh as the city’s new fire chief. Leigh is currently a deputy fire chief for the city of Aurora, Colorado, the state’s third largest city and a community of 314,000 east of Denver.

“I’m looking forward to living in Santee and being an active participant in the community,” Leigh said. “I also look forward to working with the men and women of the Santee Fire Department to continue providing a high level of service to the community.”


He began his fire service career in Aurora in 1980,, working as a firefighter and paramedic for 20 years before taking an administrative position. Prior to his current job as Deputy Chief for Life Safety, he served as Deputy Chief for Special Services.

Leigh, 53, who is married and has five adult children, holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management from Weber State College in Utah. He is also a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

He starts his new job on March 7, replacing Mike Rottenberg, who retired in December after more than 31 years as a Santee firefighter including four as the department’s top administrator.

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