A veteran firefighter will become the next chief of the Kansas City Fire Department, the city announced Wednesday.
Gary Reese replaces former chief Paul Berardi, who retired in November after 32 years with the department.
Reese has worked for Kansas City fire for 23 years, most recently as a division chief.
"Unifying the department is one of the main goals I had when I applied,” Reese said, according to a city press release. “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.”
He holds a master’s degree in business from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
City Manager Troy Schulte said in the release that Reese's "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."
The city also announced Donna Maize, formerly with the Kansas City Fire Department, will become the assistant city manager for public safety.