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.
Assistant Chief, EMS Operations
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 EMS Operations.
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.
Assistant 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.
Assistant Chief, Fire Operations
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.
Deputy Chief, Support Services and Planning
Deputy Fire Chief Tim Mrowiec began his career in fire service in 1988, as a paid-on-call firefighter/paramedic for Byron, IL. Deputy Fire Chief Tim Mrowiec was hired fulltime with the City of Madison Fire Department in 1994. Throughout his career, he has been an integral part of the Lake Rescue and Heavy Urban Rescue teams. Mrowiec held various key positions including Apparatus Engineer, Chief's Aide, Lieutenant, and Training Captain.
In 2014, Mrowiec was promoted to Division Chief, overseeing Hiring and Promotions. In 2016, he was moved to Division Chief of Special Operations. This role included managing the Hazardous Incident Team, Heavy Urban Rescue Team, and Lake Rescue Team.
As a Deputy Fire Chief, Mrowiec now leads the Support Services and Planning divisions for the City of Madison Fire Department. This vital role involves managing the logistical and strategic aspects that strengthen the department's operations. Deputy Chief Mrowiec expertise ensures that the department remains well-equipped and prepared to meet the diverse needs of the community, maintaining high standards of emergency response and public safety.
Deputy Chief; Equity, Recruiting, and Engagement
Deputy Chief Tatar oversees Equity, Recruiting, and Community Engagement, as well as the Fire Investigation Team. Prior to this, she served as the Division Chief of EMS Operations, which included Special Events, Mobil Integrated Health, Tactical EMS, Clinic and Emergency Department relations, and the Peer Support Team. She has also served as the Division Chief of Hiring and Promotions. Throughout her career, she has 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 she remains active with the MFD and City of Madison Women’s Equity Committees. Deputy Chief Tatar holds a Bachelor's Degree in Public Administration.
Division Chief, Professional Development
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 six children.
Division Chief, Health & Wellness/Safety
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/Safety, 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 Heavy Urban Rescue Team, and is responsible for coordinating firefighter skill assessments.
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 academies.
Division Chief, EMS Training & Logistics
Division Chief Chris Hammes joined the MFD in October 2005. He is from Cedarburg, WI and came to Madison in 1995, where he obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from UW-Madison. On the MFD, he has previously served as a Firefighter, Paramedic, Paramedic 2, Training Officer, member of the Lake Rescue Team, and Lieutenant. He also served as the chair of the Fire Fighters Local 311 EMS Committee until being promoted to Division Chief in 2022. Hammes has been a paramedic since 2001 and has served as the paramedic communicator for UW Event Operations since 2013.
As Division Chief of EMS Training & Logistics, Hammes oversees the BLS and ALS training of all MFD personnel. He also oversees the ordering and maintaining of supplies and logistics equipment involved in EMS with the assistance of a dedicated staff in the EMS Training Division. He resides in Madison with his wife and two children.
Division Chief, Special Events
Division Chief Crossen II oversees special events and the Tactical EMS (TEMS) team for the Madison Fire Department. He's a Madison native who grew up on the north side and attended Holy Name Seminary on the city's west side. Chief Crossen began his career with the Janesville Fire Department. He joined the Madison Fire Department in 2005. His department experience includes holding the ranks of Captain, Lieutenant, Training Officer, and Firefighter/Paramedic.
Chief Crossen earned a Bachelor's degree in Public Administration, an Associate's degree in Fire Science, and various other certifications focusing on leadership and emergency incident management.
Division Chief, Mobile Integrated Health
Division Lisa Becher joined the MFD in October 2003. She is from Greenville, WI and started as a volunteer firefighter in 1999. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from UW-Eau Claire. On the MFD, she previously served as a Firefighter, Paramedic, Paramedic 2, Training Officer, and Lieutenant. She was also involved in the development of the department's lieutenant promotional process. Division Chief Becher now oversees the Mobile Integrated Health (CARES and Community Paramedic) program, injury reporting, risk management, and the Peer Support Team.
When off duty, she enjoys spending time with her two children and goldendoodle, camping, and attending sporting events.
Bill Sullivan has served the Madison Fire Department since 2007, when he was hired as the Fire Protection Engineer. In 2023, he was promoted to Fire Marshal. As the Fire Marshal, Sullivan serves as the Emergency Manager for the City of Madison and oversees the activities of the Fire Prevention Division.
Sullivan’s interest in the fire service began at a young age and lead him to attend Eastern Kentucky University, where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Fire and Safety Engineering Technology. Sullivan also serves his local fire department, working his way to the rank of Assistant Chief.
Bill enjoys spending time with his wife, three kids, two dogs, and most anything outside.
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 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.
Public 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.
Brent Sloat joined the Madison Fire Department in 2022 after spending five years in the City’s Finance Department. As the Administrative Service Manager, Brent is responsible for overseeing or assisting with the department’s payroll, personnel management, purchasing, budgeting, accounting, contracting, and grant management. Prior to serving the City of Madison, Brent spent four years with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation – Office of Policy, Finance, and Improvement.
Brent holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Northern Illinois University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration from Western Illinois University. Most of Brent’s professional career has been with the State of Wisconsin and City of Madison, specializing in public finance, performance measurement, and performance improvement.