Gary Ludwig is recognized as a respected national fire and EMS author, public speaker, and expert who has managed two award-winning metropolitan EMS systems (Memphis and St. Louis) and has pioneered many concepts which are now standard practice in fire and EMS systems today. Chief Ludwig has over 40 years of fire, rescue and EMS experience – and over 37 years experience as a paramedic. He currently serves as the fire chief of Champaign, Illinois.
It is estimated that Chief Ludwig has responded on over 25,000 fire, rescue, and EMS incidents during his 39-year career and has performed at various levels including patient care as a paramedic, firefighting, to incident commander at countless emergency scenes and planned events. Some planned events that he has commanded include two United States Presidential debates, numerous Presidential visits and motorcades, the Papal Visit of John Paul II to St. Louis, the 1993 Floods of St. Louis, United States Summer Olympic Festival, Super Bowl parades, and World Series Baseball.
Recently, Chief Ludwig retired as a deputy fire chief on the senior command staff for the Memphis Fire Department, a 1,987 person fire department, operating from 57 fire stations, with a $162.5 million budget, that last year responded on approximately 145,000 alarms. The EMS budget is over $36 million.
Chief Ludwig previously retired as the Chief Paramedic from the St. Louis Fire Department in 2001. He was employed full time with the City of St. Louis for 25 years after starting employment with the City two months out of high school. During his career he rose through the ranks and managed various programs or Bureaus including field operations, support services, and the Fire Alarm Communications Center.
Chief Ludwig currently serves as the Immediate Past Chair for the EMS Section of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC). The EMS Section is one of the largest and most active sections of the IAFC. He was Chair for six years from 2007 – 2013.
Chief Ludwig has earned a Bachelors degree in Business Administration and a Masters degree in Management and Business. Additionally, he is a licensed paramedic and a certified firefighter. Chief Ludwig is also a contributing editor and writes a monthly column that appears in Firehouse Magazine and he writes a monthly leadership column that appears in JEMS Magazine.
Chief Ludwig has authored over 500 articles in such publications as the IAFC’s On Scene, 9-1-1 Magazine, Fire Chief Magazine, Firehouse Magazine, Journal of Emergency Medical Services, EMS Magazine, and National Fire & Rescue. Also, Chief Ludwig is a nationally known and requested speaker and has made over 250 public presentations at conferences or professional seminars at most major fire or EMS conferences.