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Todd Tuggle appointed as Santa Maria's fire chief following Champion retirement

Todd Tuggle appointed as Santa Maria's fire chief following Champion retirement

121720 Todd Tuggle

Todd Tuggle joined the Santa Maria Fire Department as deputy fire chief in February. 

Todd Tuggle has been appointed to serve as Santa Maria's interim fire chief, filling the role Leonard Champion will leave upon his retirement Thursday.

City Manager Jason Stilwell made the appointment that will take effect Saturday, according to city spokesman Mark van de Kamp. 

Joining the Santa Maria Fire Department in February as the city's first deputy fire chief in 10 years, Tuggle previously served 17 years in the Fresno Fire Department, holding the title of battalion chief at the end of his tenure.

The interim chief will oversee the department's 75 personnel and five community fire stations, as well as a sixth station at the Santa Maria Public Airport, van de Kamp said. The department responds to approximately 10,000 calls for service annually. 

Stilwell has yet to appoint an interim police chief for the Santa Maria Police Department, with current Chief Phil Hansen set to retire Dec. 31. 

Both Champion and Hansen were honored with retirement resolutions during Tuesday's Santa Maria City Council meeting. 


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The following is taken from the Santa Maria Police Department's calls-for-service log and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office daily arrest log. Those appearing as "arrested" are only suspected of the crime indicated but are presumed innocent.

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