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IAFC Fire Chiefs of the Year honored at Fire-Rescue International

Chiefs Gary Ludwig and Marshall Turbeville were selected for their contributions in the areas of leadership, innovation, professional development, integrity and public service

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By FireRescue1 staff

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), in partnership with Pierce Manufacturing Inc., today announced the 2022 IAFC Fire Chief of the Year honorees during its annual Fire-Rescue International conference.

  • Volunteer Fire Chief of the Year: Marshall Turbeville of the Northern Sonoma Fire Protection District in Sonoma County, California
  • Career Fire Chief of the Year: Gary Ludwig, of the Champaign (Illinois) Fire Department

The chiefs were selected for their exemplary contributions in the areas of leadership, innovation, professional development, integrity and public service.


Left to right: Jim Johnson, Pierce Manufacturing president; Chief Marshall Turbeville; and IAFC President Ken Stuebing.

According to the IAFC, Chief Turbeville led his community’s response to the devastating wildfires in California over the last several years, including the Tubbs, Pocket, Kincade and Wallbridge fires. These events not only caused widespread damage and destruction, but they also triggered significant emotional and psychological trauma within the community and the fire department. After frontline experience fighting these fires, Chief Turbeville determined the status quo response to the firestorms was inadequate and worked with his community to develop new strategies focused on prevention, preparedness and appropriate mitigation methods to save future life, property and the environment.

Some of his most notable accomplishments include:

  • Implementation of vegetation mitigation measures and community preparedness planning, including the formation of Northern Sonoma COPE (Communities Organized to Prepare for Emergencies)
  • Leader for community awareness programs including community fire awareness signs, preattack maps, Community Wildfire Protection Plans, Firewise designation, evacuation planning/drills, education (prescribed burning, grazing, generator use, defensible space, home hardening, etc.), community chipper days, and improved resident-fire agency communication
  • 2021 Wildfire Mitigation Award NASF/IAFC/NFPA/USFS
  • 2022 Harmon Heald Award Healdsburg Forever Foundation

Left to right: Jim Johnson, Pierce Manufacturing president; Chief Gary Ludwig; and IAFC President Ken Stuebing.

Chief Ludwig is a past president and chairman of the board for the IAFC as well as an editorial advisory board member for FireRescue1. According to the IAFC, during his term as president, Chief Ludwig was faced with the crisis of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. In the early days of March 2020, several weeks prior to the shutdown in the United States, Chief Ludwig implemented a Coronavirus Task Force consisting of fire chiefs, IAFF leaders, physicians and private industry representatives. The Task Force met weekly and conveyed vital information to members across the country. Chief Ludwig’s actions led the fire service through the pandemic during the most difficult time.

Some of Chief Ludwig’s notable accomplishments include:

  • Established an Economic Task Force in March 2020 to help fire chiefs and departments navigate through reduced tax revenue caused by the pandemic and where to find federal funding, utilizing email and webinars to get the information out to members
  • Worked directly with Congress on pandemic related funding measures for emergency services including six different House and Senate Appropriations Committees
  • Published five books including, “401 Things Veteran Firefighters Can Teach You” in 2020, “Fully Involved Leadership” in 2019, “Welcome to the Butterbeck School of Mismanagement” in 2017, “Blood, Sweat, Tears, and Prayers” in 2015, and 1992’s “Computers in the EMS and Fire Service”

“It is always an honor to recognize the brave men and women who have dedicated so much to their communities through the fire service, and as the sponsor of the IAFC Fire Chief of the Year Awards, we always look forward to announcing the honorees.” said Jim Johnson, Oshkosh Corporation executive vice president and president, Fire & Emergency. “Chief Turbeville and Chief Ludwig have shown exceptional leadership for their departments, particularly through the difficulties of the past several years, and personify the qualities of professionals and mentors for those throughout the fire service. On behalf of the Pierce Manufacturing team, I’d like to extend our gratitude for their dedication, and congratulate them on a well-deserved honor.”

Learn more about the IAFC’s Fire Chief of the Year Award, presented annually at Fire-Rescue International.