San Luis Obispo appoints new fire chief

November 12, 2022

Todd Tuggle

By Karen Velie

The city of San Luis Obispo announced Friday the appointment of Todd Tuggle to head the SLO Fire Department.

Tuggel, currently chief of the Santa Maria Fire Department, is slated to start his new post in SLO on Dec. 5. He will manage the department’s $14 million budget and lead a team of about 60 full-time employees for an annual base salary of$218,400.

Former Chief Keith Aggson is retiring on Dec. 9.

Before moving to the Central Coast in 2020, Tuggel spent 17 years working for the Fresno Fire Department. Tuggle most recently served the City of Santa Maria for two years as the deputy chief and chief of the Santa Maria Fire Department.

“Todd’s strong leadership skills will aid in the rollout of the fire department’s five-year strategic plan to ensure that the department continues to meet the community’s and the city organization’s needs,” said SLO City Manager Derek Johnson. “Todd’s passion, strong work ethic, and innovation makes him a fantastic addition to the department head team.”

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Welcome to SLO! Now, quit using that big damn truck for every stubbed toe.

CCN should do a news article on why it seems Santa Maria turns over every couple years, especially with all of the Measure U funding.

And nobody even cares that the Gov is one of the biggest employers in the county and state, after all, they are heros. Like a giant animal devouring everything in site. Used to be a volunteer department.

“Used to be a volunteer department”…, yeah, like 75 or 80 years ago when the population of SLO was maybe 7500 residents.

Any surprise with a fire chief’s base salary of over $218,000 and a total compensation of likely close to $350,000 that the total budget is 14 million. After you add all the chiefs total compensation, such as fire, battalion, captains and others, how much of the budget is left?

SLO City Council are poor fiduciaries. Should be voted out.

It’s refreshing to see people using and other sources to see the abuse of taxpayers in regards to salaries and pension costs. More people need to tune in and realize the cost from collusion between politicians and unionized public employees. It is truly the root of all economic misery in California.

Right, we should pay him less. Because it’s so cheap to live here. Surely he should bring his experience here, and work for peanuts while he struggles to make ends meet. What’s funny, is it’s cheaper to live in places like Napa, LA, or the valley: where they pay even more. No one wants to be a public servant anymore, but yes… let’s pay them less. So they can get criticized for the pension problems we all created 20 years ago. The pension bloat argument was killed in 2012 by AB340, find a new argument. I’m sure these guys were overpaid today when they dealt with a suicide jumper, or when they get stuck on giant fires for weeks. I’m sure their kids love not seeing them for 1/3 of their working lives, or how they get to see some of the toughest stuff you can imagine.

Public safety is a thankless job.

Yeah, and that’s why for every firefighter or paramedic job opening in California there are dozens and sometime hundreds of applicants. Really lousy career path.

Perhaps it used to be.

Not now, no one is signing up for a job that doesn’t pay enough to live here, a schedule that makes it nearly impossible for your spouse to work if you have kids, and an only increasing amount of absolutely horrible incidents that you get exposed to.

It’s a thankless gig, what may appear as a cush retirement and salary hides the reality: public servants deal with what you and I don’t want to, or even further: what we don’t even want to acknowledge exists. Homeless encampments riddled with feces, drug overdoses, fires, trauma, and god knows what else. Kiss your summer goodbye, and when all of that’s is over: rain caused mudslides searching for children who didn’t make it out.