Assistant Chief Michael Popovich joined the City of Madison Fire Department in March 1988. Popovich was promoted to Lieutenant in January 2001 and became a Division Chief in January 2006. He was promoted to Assistant Chief of Personnel, Planning & Training on January 8, 2012. In January 2017 he became the Assistant Chief of Support Services.
Popovich joined the City of Madison Fire Department in March 1988. Popovich was promoted to Apparatus Engineer in January 1995 and to Lieutenant in January 2001. He worked as a Division Chief from January 2006 until being promoted to Assistant Chief of Personnel on January 8, 2012. He also has worked as a Training Officer and Chief's Aide during his career.
Chief Popovich earned a B.S. in Public Administration from Upper Iowa University with a Minor in Fire Science. He is certified as a PADI diver and Hazardous Materials Technician. He also has been certified as a Fire Officer IV and Fire Instructor.
Through 2009, Chief Popovich served as a Fire Chief in the U.S. Air Force Reserves. He retired as E-9 Chief Master Sergeant after a 27-year commitment.
Assistant Chief Lance Langer has served the City of Madison since January 1990. Chief Langer has held positions of Firefighter, Paramedic, Lieutenant, and Training Captain. He also had been a member of the Lake Rescue Team, Technical Rescue Team, and Core Officer for the Hazardous Materials Team. Chief Langer has developed training programs both locally and regionally. Currently, he serves as of President for the Dane County Training Officers Association and Vice President of the Dane County Chiefs Association.
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.
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 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.
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.
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. 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.
Division Chief Tracy Burrus has been a career firefighter since February 1995. She joined the Madison Fire Department on Oct. 15, 2001. Prior to achieving the rank of Division Chief, she served as a Rapid Intervention Team member, Hazardous Materials satellite member, Training Officer, Heavy Urban Rescue Team member, Apparatus Engineer, and Fire Lieutenant. She has served on the Recruitment, Tuition Reimbursement, and Peer Suicide Prevention committees.
Chief Burrus is originally from Saratoga Springs, NY. She moved to the Midwest after serving four years with the U.S. Army. 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.
Division Chief Scott Bavery was born and raised in the City of Madison. He started serving the community as a Madison Firefighter in 1997. Division Chief Bavery has held positions within the Department as Firefighter, Paramedic, Training Officer, Fire Lieutenant, and Fire Captain. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Community Health Education and a Masters Degree in Emergency Management Services. Division Chief Bavery has been involved with Lake Rescue, the Hazardous Incident Team, and Tactical Emergency Medicine Services. Chief Bavery is a former Hazmat State Coordinator and was a lead instructor for four MFD recruit academies.
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. Jerome 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. Jerome 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. Chief Buechner is also the Fire Department Safety Officer, leads the Fire Investigation Division, and is responsible for tracking protective equipment and coordinating firefighter skill assessments.
Division Chief Liza Tatar joined the Madison Fire Department in 2005 and has 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. Liza holds a degree in Public Administration from Upper Iowa University and studied sociology at the University of Virginia.
As Division Chief of Hiring and Promotions, she oversees the department’s recruitment and promotional processes. As the department’s Equity Coordinator, she also works to continuously ensure fair and equitable hiring and promotional practices so the department has a qualified and diverse workforce at all levels of the organization.
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.