Dennis Rubin, who has served as the Kansas City, Kansas Fire Department’s interim fire chief for almost six months, will soon take on the role full time.
Wyandotte County’s administrator, David Johnston, announced at Thursday night’s Unified Government meeting that he has hired Rubin for the position, which he will take over in the new year. He will become the KCKFD’s 18th fire chief.
“I pledge that I’ll do my very best to continue the direction that we’re going in to serve folks with dignity and pride,” Rubin told the UG’s Board of Commissioners.
Before becoming KCK’s interim fire chief in June, Rubin previously served as fire chief in Atlanta, Georgia, Washington, D.C., and most recently, in small towns in Wisconsin and Virginia.
Tyrone Garner, the UG’s CEO and mayor, said before he took office that there were many challenges at the fire department. But firefighters appreciate the “new type of vision” Rubin brings, he said.
“The people I’ve talked to said you have their utmost respect and confidence,” Garner told Rubin.
Tensions at times ran high under the prior fire administration. Last year, the head of the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 64, the union representing KCKFD members, said the former chief “destroyed morale” and caused workplace issues.
Johnston, the county administrator, said Thursday he made the decision to hire Rubin after meetings with the fire union and “considerable conversations” with firefighters.
“They are impressed with the leadership and the opportunity to really build the fire department into a 21st Century fire department,” he said.