KCFD names 23-year veteran Gary Reese as chief

City Manager Troy Shulte named Gary Reese, a 23-year KCFD veteran, as the city’s new fire chief during an event celebrating KCFD’s 150th anniversary. (KCFD)

The Kansas City Fire Department named their new chief on Wednesday.

City Manager Troy Shulte named Gary Reese, a 23-year KCFD veteran, as the city’s new fire chief during an event celebrating KCFD’s 150th anniversary.The position had been officially open since former Chief Paul Berardi retired on Nov. 11, after 32 years with the department.“Chief Reese brings fresh and innovative ideas to this top leadership spot,” Schulte said. “His business approach, combined with his experience coming up through the department, will help us tackle the deployment and overtime issues while continuing to excel at public safety and firefighting.”Reese, 46, most recently held the title of division chief and says his field experience and his administrative training is the perfect blend for his new role as chief.“Unifying the department is one of the main goals I had when I applied,” said Reese, who holds a master’s degree in business from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. “My experience is strong, especially my educational background and I feel well prepared to lead the department through the challenges we’ll face in the future.”Wednesday’s announcements were made at the site where Francis Foster became the City’s first Fire Chief by taking ownership of the John Campbell Steamer No. 1 on March 14, 1868. The first engines had large tubes that emitted steam. A separate truck had the hoses and both trucks were pulled by a team of horses which then had to be safely removed from the scene of the fire.

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