Monday, July 23 , 2018, 8:16 am | Fair 74º

 
 
 
 

Leonard Champion Named Fire Chief in Santa Maria

Leonard Champion is Santa Maria’s new fire chief. Click to view larger
Leonard Champion is Santa Maria’s new fire chief. (City of Santa Maria photo)

City Manager Rick Haydon has named Leonard Champion as the city’s new fire chief, and removed “interim” from the title, after reassessing the city’s needs and recruitment efforts.

“Since making the announcement of Battalion Chief Champion’s interim appointment, I’ve received a tremendous amount of unsolicited positive feedback about him from the Fire Department, those in the fire service, as well as from those in the community,” Haydon explained. “I’ve had an opportunity to sit down with him and discuss a number of key issues facing the department and have come to this conclusion.

"I’ve known him for over two decades and have a tremendous amount of confidence in his abilities, and so I’m removing the ‘interim’ from his new title. He will be sworn in as the city’s next fire chief at the City Council meeting of Tuesday, Nov. 15.”

Champion will succeed Scott Kenley, who served as interim fire chief for about a year.

Champion began his fire service career with the Santa Maria Fire Department as a reserve firefighter on March 24, 1990. 

Champion holds a bachelor of science degree from the California State University, Long Beach and teaches at Allan Hancock College in the Fire Science Division.

Champion is highly respected among his peers and members of the Santa Maria Fire Department. He is heavily involved in the countywide delivery of emergency medical services, and is a member of the Santa Barbara County EMS Advisory Committee.

The Santa Maria Fire Department has 62 personnel, and operates five stations serving the entire community, plus a sixth fire station dedicated to serving the Santa Maria Public Airport.

In 2015, the department responded to 9,970 calls for service.

Mark van de Kamp is a public information officer for the city of Santa Maria.

 

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