champion_leonardCity 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, November 15th.”
Champion will succeed Scott Kenley, who served as Interim Fire Chief for about a year. 
Battalion Chief 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.  Chief Champion is highly respected among his peers and members of the Santa Maria Fire Department.  He is heavily involved in the County-wide 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.
Department:                             City Manager’s Office
Contact Person:                      Mark van de Kamp, PIO/Management Analyst II
Telephone Number:                  (805) 925-0951 ext. 2372
E-mail Address: