The legislative body of a city organized under general law shall establish a fire department for the city. The fire department shall be under the charge of a chief who shall have had previous training and experience as a fireman. The other members of the fire department shall consist of paid firemen or such companies of volunteer firemen as the legislative body may determine. The city legislative body shall fix and pay the compensation of the chief and other paid firemen.
Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, and of subdivision (e) of Section 36501, no general law city shall be required to appoint or elect a fire chief or establish a fire department if such city is included within the boundaries of an established fire protection district.