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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