Solana Beach bids farewell to its fire battalion chief


After a decade of service to Solana Beach, the city’s council members, staff and firefighters bid farewell to Fire Battalion Chief Dismas Abelman at the start of the Sept. 10 council meeting.

“We’re certainly going to miss you, Dismas,” said Mayor Thomas Campbell. “On behalf of the entire City Council, we would like to thank you for your service and your loyalty to our fine community.”

Although an employee of Solana Beach, Abelman is based at the Leucadia station. Through a shared fire services agreement, he has served the communities of Solana Beach, Del Mar and Encinitas for 10 years.

“It’s the best career,” said Abelman, who thanked the community for its support and acknowledged Heidi, his wife of 12 years, and their three children, ages 9, 7 and 5.

“I’m just humbled and honored to be able to do it, and I’m grateful to work in such a great community.”

On behalf of the city, Solana Beach City Manager David Ott presented Abelman with a glass case, holding his badge, the department patch and pictures.

“Dis, you’ve grown so much since I’ve known you,” said Ott, who worked alongside Abelman when they both served as firefighters in Coronado.

“His value to the fire service — I have never questioned. He understands what it means to be in the fire service, what a privilege it is to be in the fire service — the ability to help people in sometimes their darkest hour. Dis has always understood that.”

Echoing Ott’s sentiment, Fire Chief Mike Daigle thanked Abelman for his service and praised him for his honesty and integrity.

“He’s been a leader, a mentor and a friend to a lot of us in this room,” Daigle said.

Abelman has worked in fire service for 27 years. He previously served Coronado for 17 years.

Abelman’s official last day as battalion chief is Sept. 19, but because he’s working a 24-hour shift, he’ll get off work the next morning. He will soon begin a new job as emergency services manager for UC San Diego.

“My goal is to leave the community and fire department a little bit better than I found it, and I hope that I did,” Abelman said. “The more you try and give, the more you get back in return. I came and I tried to do good, and it’s come back to me in spades.”