City Manager Dorothy Ann David has appointed Deputy Chief Gary Gula to serve as Interim Fire Chief for the Champaign Fire Department. Chief Gula is a 34-year veteran of the Champaign Fire Department and currently serves as the Deputy Chief of Operations.
“I want to thank Deputy Chief Gula for agreeing to fill this important leadership role for our Fire Department,” said Champaign City Manager Dorothy Ann David. “Chief Gula is an exceptional leader and a long tenured member of the Champaign Fire Department. He has faithfully served the City of Champaign and our residents his entire career and I have the utmost confidence in his ability to lead the Champaign Fire Department during this period of transition.”
Interim Chief Gula added, “It is my honor to lead this highly skilled organization and to continue my service to Champaign’s residents. I appreciate the confidence and support of the City Manager, and I look forward to advancing the City Council’s vision and commitment to serving the public while supporting the hard-working professionals of the Champaign Fire Department.”
Interim Chief Gula began his firefighting career with the Champaign Fire Department in 1989. He has served as a Firefighter, Lieutenant, Captain, Battalion Chief of Training, and Deputy Chief of Operations. Throughout his fire service career, he has developed a passion for training. Beginning as early as his role as a firefighter, he has led fire department training, sharing skills to prepare his fellow firefighters in life saving skills and techniques. In 1995, he became an instructor for the Illinois Fire Service Institute, where he has been able to pass along what he has learned to more than 50 academies of firefighting recruits. Prior to entering the fire service, he proudly served in the United States Army from 1984-1987. Following his time in the Army, he attended Parkland College and the University of Illinois Fire Service Institute.
Interim Chief Gula is replacing former Chief Gary Ludwig who earlier today submitted his resignation from the Champaign Fire Department, citing family medical reasons. Ludwig’s resignation was effective immediately. He served in that position since 2014.
City Manager Dorothy Ann David will conduct a search to find a new Fire Chief as soon as possible.