Kansas City has a new fire chief

Paul Berardi, who has been interim fire chief since Richard “Smokey” Dyer retired in July, has been named permanent fire chief.

“In his short tenure as interim fire chief, Paul Berardi has exhibited the responsiveness, strength, leadership and determination the City of Kansas City needs in a fire chief,” City Manager Troy Schulte said in a press release. “I believe Chief Berardi understands the critical challenges that face both our City and the KCFD and will address them with objectivity.”

The fire chief is responsible for public safety and leads the day-to-day activities of the department.

Here are more details about the new chief from the city’s announcement:

With more than 26 years of service at KCFD, Chief Berardi has served the past 11 years as deputy chief and has led the Professional Development Bureau and the Medical Bureau. He most recently served as a designated shift commander responsible for KCFD Emergency Service Operations citywide during designated operating periods.

Chief Berardi holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Missouri at Kansas City’s Bloch School of Management, a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Baker University and an associate degree in fire science from Metropolitan Community College. He was selected in 2004 for a fellowship at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government to attend the Senior Executive in State and Local Government Program.

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