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KCFD Chief Gary Reese stepping down

National search will be conducted for new chief

Post Date:08/21/2019 3:55 PM

MEDIA ALERT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Aug. 21, 2019

City Manager Troy Schulte is announcing a change of leadership in the Kansas City Fire Department. On Sept. 7, Fire Chief Gary Reese will step down as the city’s Fire Chief.

An interim fire chief will be appointed while a national search is conducted for a new fire chief to lead the department.

“I’d like to thank Gary for his service to the city as Fire Chief,” Schulte said. “Being chief is a tough job, and he gave it his all.”

During his tenure Chief Reese accomplished multiple goals to improve the department’s operations:

  • Implemented the Ground Emergency Media Transportation program, which generated nearly $12 million in revenue through supplemental reimbursements for ambulance services.
  • Shortened the waiting time to install smoke detectors for residents
  • Worked with the City’s Innovation Partnership Program to test a geospatial visualization platform to identify vulnerable locations to target outreach and education
  • Improve minority recruitment and retention of firefighters
  • Replaced the department’s 15-year-old light vehicle fleet
  • Upgraded IT software, including Computer-Aided Dispatch

Reese has been with the KCFD for more than 24 years, starting as a rookie firefighter and working his way up through the ranks. He spent 14 years as fire truck driver, based at Station 17 at East 34th & Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Reese was working as a division chief when he was named fire chief in March, 2018.

Media inquiries may be directed to City Communications Director Chris Hernandez at 816-513-3474.

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