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Apr 20, 2010 1:23 PM by Ariel Wesler

Santa Maria's new fire chief faces challenges

The city of Santa Maria has named Jeff Jones as the new fire chief. Jones has been the Acting Fire Chief since September 2009, following the retirement of 12-year Fire Chief Frank Ortiz.

Jones has 32 years of experience in fire service and has been with the Santa Maria Fire Department for the last seven, but with a growing number of response calls and a dwindling budget, Jones faces some big challenges. The Santa Maria Fire Department's four fire stations and 53 personnel cover a 23-square-mile response area, averaging nearly 25 incidents per day.

Jones officially begins his new duties on Saturday.

Hear from the new fire chief tonight on KSBY News at 5 and 6.

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