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Fire Chief Donna Maize

Photograph of Fire Chief Donna Maize

Donna Maize is the first woman to lead the Kansas City, Missouri Fire Department (KCFD) since its founding more than 151 years ago. She has more than 27 years with the City of Kansas City, Missouri most recently working as assistant city manager for public safety. Prior to that appointment, she progressed through the ranks of KCFD from Firefighter to Assistant Fire Chief. Her last assignment within the fire department was commanding the Technical Services Bureau which includes fleet, facilities, IT, logistics, and other core internal functions. She is a graduate of the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer Program and holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Kansas and bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from the University of Central Missouri.

Maize took over as Interim Fire Chief on September 8th, 2019 when Chief Gary Reese, a 25-year veteran of KCFD, stepped down but City Manager, Troy Schulte is dropping the "interim" from her title.

"A press release was sent out today [10/20/19] stating that the City Manager appointed me to Fire Chief today. I am excited to step into the position full-time.  It is an  honor to be named Fire Chief of such a great organization that is full of dedicated, caring and professional employees.  I look forward to working with all of you as we serve the citizens of Kansas City and make this great organization even better."  --  Fire Chief Donna Maize

Previous roles within the fire department that prepared her for taking leadership of KCFD include serving as the Deputy Chief of Special Operations and Division Chief of Hazardous Materials. Chief Maize gained a variety of experience through participation in regional committees and activities, including Chair of the Local Emergency Planning Committee, Chair of the regional Hazmat Committee, and as KCFD’s Incident Commander in the joint command structure for the 2012 All-Star Game in Kansas City, Missouri. Early career development included roles within the fire department such as Training Instructor and Equipment Officer.

Chief Maize benefited from a corps of mentors throughout her career and as such, believes in giving a hand up, not a hand out. As the first woman to lead KCFD, she intends to serve as a role model for girls and young women who may consider a career in fire and emergency services. She believes it is important to maintain the public’s trust and provide good customer service internally and externally. Her method to accomplish this is through communication and setting clear expectations.

Her philosophy on fire service leadership is empowering responders by providing the tools, equipment, and training needed so they can apply their knowledge, skill and ability to address any of KCFD’s core missions of fire suppression, EMS, hazardous materials and technical rescue response. KCFD’s professional responders are ready to respond to all calls for service.