Mike Callahan Named KCK Fire Chief

6/26/2018 12:00:00 AM

40-Year Veteran of Chicago Fire Department

Mike Callahan, Deputy Fire Commissioner in the Chicago Fire Department is the new Chief of the Kansas City Kansas Fire Department. Unified Government County Administrator Doug Bach announced the appointment today after a lengthy national search.

Callahan replaces former Fire Chief John Paul Jones who retired this year after leading the KCK Fire Department since 2007.

Callahan joined the Chicago Fire Department in 1980, serving as firefighter; Fire Engineer; Fire Lt.; Fire Captain; Fire Battalion Chief; Deputy District Chief; District Chief; Assistant Deputy Fire Commissioner; and, for the last nine years, Deputy Fire Commissioner. The Chicago Fire Department is the second largest Fire Department in the country, with 5,000 employees and an annual budget of $621-million. Chicago firefighters respond to more than 800,000 emergency calls a year.

Callahan has a Master of Sciences in Homeland Security Administration and a dual Bachelor of Arts in Law Enforcement/Justice Administration and Spanish Language.

“I believe Chief Callahan is an excellent fit our department. 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,” said County Administrator Doug Bach.

The Unified Government conducted a national search in an effort to find the best qualified person to lead the KCK Fire Department. The search was narrowed to six finalists who went through an extensive assessment and interview process. The two days of exercises and evaluations were observed by Blue Ribbon Panels of Professionals and Community Members. 
 
“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.