Santa Maria Fire Chief Leonard Champion is retiring this month after a 30-year career.
Chief Champion has been working in the industry since 1990 and will officially retire on Dec. 17.
Champion worked his way up through the ranks as firefighter engineer, captain, battalion chief, and chief.
When asked about the current times Chief Champion said 'the fire department deals with challenges with every call they respond to, with COVID-19 that is true and evolving every day.'
His dedication to providing service to the community as a firefighter he says is a daily challenge and that it is the best career decision he could have made.
Chief Champion says he will stay here in the community and continue educating young students who want to be a firefighter at Allan Hancock College.
He says that for those who want to be a firefighter it is the best job in the world. He found satisfaction being able to serve others and give back and that is what firefighting is all about.