SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Santa Maria has appointed a new interim fire chief following the retirement of Chief Leonard Champion.
Santa Maria city manager Jason Stilwell announced Wednesday that Deputy Fire Chief Todd Tuggle will be assuming the role of chief beginning Saturday. Champion announced his retirement earlier this month.
Tuggle has been with the Santa Maria Fire Department since February and previously served 17 years with the Fresno Fire Department.
Tuggle graduated from Cal Poly in the '90s and in 2016 he earned his Master of Arts in Homeland Security from the Naval Postgraduate School.
The Santa Maria Fire Department serves the entire city of Santa Maria with 75 positions and five fire stations. A sixth fire station provides dedicated service to the Santa Maria Public Airport. The fire department responds to about 10,000 service calls every year, the city said.