Safety, of the community and the department, is Champaign Fire Chief's top concern
For Gary Ludwig, Chief of the Champaign Fire Department, career and giving back to his community go hand-in-hand.
“I entered my profession to make a difference in the lives of others," Ludwig told Chambana Sun. "To be able to help those in need.”
Ludwig has been an integral part of the community over his years of service, whether in emergency situations or not. As Fire Chief, Ludwig believes he is part of a team that is trying to make the community a better place, rather than a leader who is championing change on his own.
“I would like to say that ‘we’ have done much for the community. We perform as a team,” Ludwig said. “In the last four years, we have installed smoke alarms in over 1,000 Champaign homes. We have obtained an ISO Class 1 fire-department rating, of which there are less than 250 in the United States out of over 47,000 fire departments, and less than 15 in the State of Illinois.”
Despite the massive achievements the fire department has attained, Ludwig cares more about protecting his community and his team members than he does about earning public praise, and this impacts his visions for the position of Fire Chief.
“My main goal and aspirations are to continue to keep the community safe and ensure the safety of all my firefighters and employees; to make sure they go home at the end of their shift,” Ludwig said.
Ludwig has been a committed member of the Champaign community for years and loves all that it has to offer, but he still sees room for improvement in certain areas, especially when it involves keeping those he cares for safe.
“I do not wish to change Champaign since it is a wonderful community,” Ludwig said. “However, the fire department continues to strive to provide additional educational opportunities to prevent fires and medical emergencies. Through education, we can create change for the better.”