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Leonard Champion named new Santa Maria Fire Chief

The city of Santa Maria has a new fire chief. City Manager Rick Haydon named Leonard Champion the city’s new fire chief on Thursday.

Champion, who had been serving as interim fire chief, is no stranger to Santa Maria.

He began his service with the Santa Maria Fire Department as a reserve firefighter in 1990. Besides holding a Bachelor of Science degree from Cal State Long Beach, and teaching at Allan Hancock College’s Fire Science Division, Champion is a member of the Santa Barbara County EMS Advisory Committee.

“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.

Haydon says he had the opportunity to sit down with Champion and discuss a number of key issues facing the Santa Maria Fire Department, and has “A tremendous amount of confidence in his abilities.”

The Santa Maria Fire Department, with 62 personnel operating five stations, including one at the Santa Maria airport, responded to 9,970 calls for service in 2015.

Champion will be sworn in as new fire chief at the Santa Maria City Council meeting on Nov. 15.

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