Fire Chief Chris Carbon began his career in the fire service as a volunteer in 1992 and joined his first career department in 1997. He has been with the City of Madison Fire Department since 1999 and has enjoyed serving in the roles of a Firefighter, Paramedic, Lieutenant, and Training Officer. He was also an inaugural member of the Tactical EMS team.
Prior to being appointed Fire Chief, Carbon served as the Division Chief of EMS Training and Logistics. In that role, he oversaw the initial and continuing education programming for the EMTs and Paramedics of the department. Patient-centered quality assurance and data collection were among his primary duties. He also oversaw an amazing team in the EMS Training Division, who ensure that the logistical supply and equipment needs of our emergency medical service responders are met.
A local Badger, Carbon is a graduate of Madison West High School, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology from the UW-Madison, and earned an Associate’s degree in Paramedicine from Madison College. He spends his time away from work with his wife and three children.
Ché StedmanAssistant Chief, Medical Affairs
Ché Stedman has been a member of the Madison Fire Department since 1996. He has served as a Firefighter, Paramedic, Lieutenant, Training Captain, and Division Chief, as well as participating as a special teams member of the Heavy Urban Rescue Team and Lake Rescue Team. He is currently the Assistant Chief of Medical Affairs.
Stedman began his fire service career in the Wisconsin Air National Guard in 1992. He served 21 years, retiring as a Chief Master Sergeant. He is a combat veteran with two tours of duty in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Ché holds a master's degree in Rehabilitation Psychology from the UW-Madison, a bachelor's degree in Psychology and an associate's degree in Fire Science. In addition, he is an IFSAC Fire Instructor II and Fire Officer IV.
Art PriceAssistant Chief, Operations
Assistant Chief Art Price leads the Operations Division of the MFD. Price joined the MFD in 1990 and served as a Firefighter, Training Officer, Lieutenant, and Division Chief. As Assistant Chief of Operations, Price oversees the department’s long-term planning of departmental and inter-departmental programs and services. In addition to analyzing call response data, Price coordinates the development and ongoing implementation of the department’s standard operating guidelines and policies and procedures. Price also oversees the Madison Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Division.
Tracy BurrusAssistant Chief, Personnel
Assistant Fire Chief Tracy Burrus started her firefighting career in Macomb, IL as a fulltime Firefighter/EMT in 1995. She was hired by the Madison Fire Department on October 15, 2001.
Prior to achieving the rank of Assistant Fire Chief, she held the following ranks and has been a member of the following special teams: Division Chief of Fire Training, Fire Lieutenant, Apparatus Engineer, Firefighter, Rapid Intervention Team member, Hazardous Materials satellite team member, Training Officer, and Heavy Urban Rescue Team member. She has also contributed as a member of the Safety, Recruitment, and Peer Support Committees.
Assistant Chief Burrus is originally from Saratoga Springs, NY. She moved to the Midwest after serving four years with the U.S. Army as a diesel mechanic and achieving the rank of Sergeant/E5. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology/Psychology from Western Illinois University.
When off-duty, she enjoys spending time with her family and working on home improvement projects.
Scott BaveryAssistant Chief, Support Services
Assistant Chief Scott Bavery was born and raised in the City of Madison. He started serving the community as a Madison firefighter in 1997 and has also held the positions of Paramedic, Training Officer, Fire Lieutenant, Fire Captain, and Division Chief. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Community Health Education and a master’s degree in Emergency Management Services. He is currently credentialed by the Center for Public Safety Excellence as a Chief Fire Officer and is enrolled in the National Fire Academy's Executive Fire Officer program. Chief Bavery has been involved with the Lake Rescue Team, the Hazardous Incident Team, and Tactical Emergency Medicine Services. He is a former Hazmat State Coordinator and was a lead instructor for four MFD recruit academies. His leadership was instrumental in multiple programs including the Peer Support Team, Recruitment Committee, and the Mentorship program.
Timothy MrowiecDivision Chief, Special Operations
Division Chief Timothy Mrowiec started his firefighting career in Byron, IL as a paid on-call Firefighter/Paramedic. In 1994 he was hired as a firefighter by the Madison Fire Department. His career at the MFD has included a number of promotions, including Apparatus Engineer, Chief’s Aide, Lieutenant, and Training Captain.
He was promoted to Division Chief in February 2014. As the Division Chief of Special Operations, Mrowiec oversees Madison Fire Department’s special teams: Hazardous Incident Team, Heavy Urban Rescue Team, and Lake Rescue Team. Chief Mrowiec’s duties also include Resource Management, ensuring the Department’s resources (e.g. equipment, inventory, budget, etc.) are maintained and deployed in the most efficient and effective way.
Paul RippDivision Chief, Hiring & Promotions
Division Chief Paul Ripp joined the fire service in 1990. Since that time, he's held the positions of Firefighter, Apparatus Engineer (promoted in 2001), Fire Lieutenant (promoted in 2009), and Fire Captain (appointed in 2013). He served as a Captain of Fire Training and Fire Investigator beginning in 2014 before being promoted to Division Chief in 2016. Chief Ripp has served on the MFD’s Hazardous Incident Team, Rapid Intervention Team, and Heavy Urban Rescue Team. He studied at UW-Madison, Madison College, and Columbia Southern University. He’s a Madison native and has four children. As Division Chief of Hiring and Promotions, he oversees the department’s firefighter hiring process, as well as the Apparatus Engineer and Lieutenant promotional processes.
Jerome BuechnerDivision Chief, Health & Wellness and Investigation
Division Chief Jerome Buechner started his firefighting career in 1988 as a volunteer firefighter and has worked for three professional departments. He joined Madison Fire Department in February 2000 and has held the positions of Firefighter, Apparatus Engineer, Lieutenant, and Training Captain. Chief Buechner served as a Rapid Intervention Team member and Heavy Urban Rescue Team member. He also contributed to the Safety and Mentorship Committees for the department. Chief Buechner conducted his studies at Madison College and Scottsdale Community College.
As Division Chief of Health & Wellness, he oversees the annual medical exams for the department and coordinates light duty personnel. He is also the coordinator for the Tactical Fitness Team and is responsible for maintaining and replacing exercise equipment. Additionally, Chief Buechner is the Fire Department Safety Officer, leads the Fire Investigation Division, and is responsible for coordinating firefighter skill assessments.
Liza TatarDivision Chief, EMS Operations & Special Events
Division Chief Liza Tatar joined the Madison Fire Department in 2005 and previously served as a Firefighter, Apparatus Engineer, Lieutenant, and Training Officer. She has been a member of the MFD’s Heavy Urban Rescue Team and Lake Rescue Team, and remains active with the MFD and City of Madison Women’s Equity Committees. Division Chief Tatar holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration from Upper Iowa University and studied Sociology at the University of Virginia. As Division Chief of EMS Operations and Special Events, she oversees the daily and planned operations for the EMTs and Paramedics of the department. As well, she works with the Community Paramedicine program, which focuses care on some of Madison’s most vulnerable patients.
Division Chief, Fire Training
Division Chief Jeffrey Larson started in the fire service in 1987 in Byron, IL as a paid on-call firefighter. He joined the Madison Fire Department in 1996. He has served in the rank of Firefighter, Apparatus Engineer, Fire Lieutenant, and Fire Captain. Chief Larson has been a member of the Heavy Urban Rescue Team, Lake Rescue Team, and assisted with the Fire Investigation Division.
As the Division Chief of Fire Training, he is responsible for training the field on fire suppression tactics and operations, as well as managing Recruit Fire Academies.
Edwin RuckriegelFire Marshal & Emergency Operations Coordinator
Fire Marshal Ed Ruckriegel manages the fire prevention programs for the City of Madison Fire Department. Organized around the three Es: Education, Engineering & Enforcement, the Fire Prevention Division includes the Code Enforcement Unit, the Community Education Unit and the Fire Protection Engineering Unit. The Division has also expanded services to include an Elevator Inspection Unit.
Ed started his fire service career as a volunteer firefighter in 1979. After receiving a Bachelor of Science in Fire and Safety Engineering Technology, he worked as a Fire Protection Engineer for the City of Las Vegas Fire Department, joining the Madison Fire Department in a similar capacity in 1990. He was promoted to Fire Marshal in 1994.
Dr. Megan Gussick
Dr. Megan Gussick started her career in EMS when she joined her local fire department while attending high school. She continued to pursue opportunities to work in EMS as she continued her education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and worked locally at an EMS agency while obtaining her undergraduate degree in Neuroscience. Dr. Gussick completed her medical degree at the UW and went on to residency in Emergency Medicine at the BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency Medicine. Following residency, she completed an additional year of training in prehospital medicine and is currently board certified in both Emergency Medicine and EMS/Prehospital Medicine.
Dr. Gussick joined the Madison Fire Department as the Medical Director in 2017. In her role as Medical Director, she oversees the education and delivery of care of our 400 plus EMTs and nearly 100 paramedics. She believes that EMS serves as the critical link to our local health care system and is committed to ensuring that the citizens of Madison and surrounding area received high quality and innovative prehospital care.
Denise DeSerioAdministrative Assistant
Denise DeSerio started her career with the Madison Fire Department in 1999 as a Clerk Typist, then later served as an Administrative Clerk primarily supporting the EMS Division.
As Administrative Assistant, Denise supports Fire Chief Carbon, managing his calendar and providing other administrative assistance to him and the other members of the Leadership Team. She assists with training, travel, purchasing, and facilitating hiring and promotional processes. She also supervises the Administrative Support staff, which consists of a Program Assistant, three Administrative Clerks, and a Clerk Typist.
Denise holds an Associate degree in Commercial Art from Madison College. In her free time, she works as a freelance artist, specializing in pastel animal portraits.
Cynthia SchusterPublic Information Officer
Cynthia Schuster has served as the Madison Fire Department’s Public Information Officer since May 2015. Prior to the MFD, Cynthia was a producer, talk show host, and announcer at Wisconsin Public Radio. With a dual passion for public safety and community service, she enjoys keeping the community informed while fostering appreciation for all the Madison Fire Department does in service to the city.
Cynthia holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts (Radio/TV/Film) and a certificate (minor) in Leadership from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In addition to her duties as Public Information Officer, Cynthia also coordinates the MFD Occupant Services Unit, which provides assistance to people affected by fire or other disasters.