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Santa Maria fire chief retires after 30 year career

Posted at 3:18 PM, Dec 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-17 22:39:32-05

After 30 years, Santa Maria Fire Chief Leonard Champion is officially hanging up his boots.

Chief Champion officially retired Thursday after a 30-year career as a firefighter.

Starting out as a reserve firefighter, he worked his way up through the ranks to become chief.

Chief Champion says covid-19 adds to the challenges firefighters face every day and giving back is what firefighting is all about.

"It means the world to see family and friends and coworkers these are different times, and I think people still find ways to celebrate and that’s important I think it’s good for us all to do something to continue to see life through a different set of lenses and this is truly an honor it means a lot and its special,” said Chief Champion.

Firefighters, family and friends of Chief Champion all gathered today to wish him a happy retirement.

People drove through the parking lot thanking the chief for his years of service.