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Turlock's interim fire chief to retire in September
Gary Carlson
Turlock interim fire chief Gary Carlson announced he would be retiring as of Sept. 14.

Gary Carlson, who has been serving as the Turlock Fire Department's interim chief, announced he will be retiring in a matter of weeks.

The City of Turlock made the announcement Thursday that Carlson would be retiring and that his last day would be Sept. 14.

“It has been an honor and privilege to work alongside Gary Carlson," said Interim City Manager Sarah Eddy. "Gary will truly be missed not just by those of us in City government, but by the entire Turlock community. His easy manner was a real asset during the pandemic as he instilled calm in those around him."

Carlson stepped into the role of interim fire chief more than two years ago after the City dismissed then chief Robert Talloni. His tenure as chief has included some difficult times for the fire department, including budget cuts and ongoing staff shortages as more firefighters have left for higher paying positions with other cities. Carlson also helped guide Turlock through the pandemic by serving as the Incident Commander for the City’s emergency response to the distress of the pandemic. As commander of the City’s Emergency Operations Center, Carlson led all aspects of the City’s response to the pandemic and coordinated with outside agencies in responding to the virus crisis.

Before agreeing to become the Interim Fire Chief, Carlson served as the Fire Division Chief –Operations starting in 2016. All total, he has worked for the Turlock Fire Department for 24 years.

“Working for the Turlock Fire Department has been an honor. I am proud of the contributions and service this organization provides to the community," said Carlson.

According to Eddy, the City is currently reviewing options for the fire chief position and no final decisions have been made at this time regarding filling it.