27-year veteran is new Kansas City interim fire chief

KCFD Chief Donna Lake left for a job with the City of Lee’s Summit
Ross Grundyson.
Ross Grundyson.(Provided by the KCKFD)
Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 7:28 AM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Kansas City has announced its new interim fire chief as 27-year veteran Ross Grundyson.

Grundyson takes over for KCFD Chief Donna Lake, who left the job after three years to become the assistant city manager for the City of Lee’s Summit. Grundyson will take purely an interim role as chief. The city is conducting a nationwide search for the next fire chief, and has said Grundyson is not in the running for the permanent job.

Grundyson joined the Kansas City Fire Department in 1996, moving from captain to battalion chief, to assistant fire chief. The city said he played “an instrumental role” in guiding the department through the COVID-19 pandemic and broadened paramedic support for city residents.

“I am proud and thankful for the opportunity to serve not only the citizens of Kansas City, but my fellow Kansas City Fire Department family as well,” Grundyson said. “Our team is working every day to make a positive impact on our community on the ground. It is an honor to serve in this position while the search for a new Fire Chief is under way.”

Mayor Quinton Lucas released a statement following Grundyson’s appointment, saying, “I am pleased by the appointment of Mr. Grundyson, a 27-year veteran of the Kansas City Fire Department, to interim fire chief during a time when Kansas City government works to build on important progress we’ve made throughout my term as mayor, including more rapid deployment and delivery of fire and EMS services, pay increases for the women and men of our Department, and building an inclusive Fire Department reflective of our community. I look forward to working with Interim Fire Chief Grundyson in service of Kansas Citians.”