KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Kansas, has a new fire chief.
The KCK Fire Department introduced Mike Callahan, a former deputy fire commissioner with the Chicago Fire Department, as its new fire chief Thursday during a news conference at city hall.
Unified Government County Administrator Doug Bach announced the appointment to replace former KCK Fire Chief John Paul Jones, who retired after 11 years earlier in 2018.
“I believe Chief Callahan is an excellent fit our department,” Bach said in a release announcing Callahan’s appointment. “He has extensive experience in fire operations and medical transport, not to mention a manager with a reputation for efficiency and leadership among his fellow commanders. I am very excited to make him part of our team.”
Callahan started with the Chicago Fire Department in 1980 as a firefighter and worked his way through the ranks. He spent the last nine years as deputy fire commissioner for the Chicago Fire Department, which is the second largest in the country more than 5,000 employees and an annual budget of approximately $621 million.
Six finalists were selected for two days of exercises and evaluations with oversight from a panel before Callahan was offered the job.
“The assessment center process tested the candidate’s leadership abilities, their ability to handle controversial and difficult situations and their thoughts and goals about the future of the KCK Fire Department,” Bach said.