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1952 Fire Chief

Name: Cecil Gambel

Rank: Fire Chief

Years Of Service: 1952

Service Award(s):

Cecil Gambel was born in Templeton in 1927. Some of his earliest childhood memories were of the Templeton fires. As a child, he remembered staying in his family‘s yard to remain out of harms way when the fire bell rang. When Cecil was six years old he was reprimanded by his father for going to a fire in Atascadero with three strangers.

Gambel joined the fire department in 1950. He was elected Assistant Fire Chief months before he became Fire Chief. “They threw the keys up in the air and I caught them and they said, ‘You‘re the new chief,” Gambel said. He was only the fire chief for about a week and a half. This was not because he was not capable, but rather because he did not have a phone. Therefore, Noel Bennett said he would be the new Fire Chief because he had a phone. Dur-ing his time at the Templeton Fire Department, there were between eight and ten volunteer firefighters. He ended his career as a volunteer firefighter in 1954 and moved to San Miguel.