City of Columbia to host a panel introducing candidates for fire chief

2 months 2 weeks 6 days ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 1:48:00 AM CST December 05, 2019 in News
By: John Pottebaum, KOMU 8 News

COLUMBIA - Columbia's search for a new fire chief is coming to a close.

A community relations specialist for City Manager John Glascock's office said she expects the search to end soon.

"City Manager Glascock has indicated that after receiving feedback from the community and speaking with some other folks, such as the fire union and fire command staff, that he would hope to extend an offer to someone in two weeks," Sara Humm said.

But before a decision is made, the public is being given the opportunity to voice its opinion.

A panel featuring the three finalists will take place today 4:30 to 6 p.m. at Regional Economic Development Inc. (REDI) off of East Walnut Street.

Humm said the panel will serve a variety of purposes.

"He wants this as an opportunity for the community to really come and meet the three candidates," Humm said. "To give feedback, if they would like, and to really have an open conversation with the three candidates. It will be very informal."

She added attendees will have the opportunity to personally speak with each of the candidates and write down any opinions they have on the decision.

Each candidate has at least 20 years of experience in emergency services.

Maria Beerman-Float is currently the battalion chief of operations for MED-ACT- Emergency Medical Services in Johnson County, Kansas. Christopher Riley is a member of the Branch Council with the Institute of Fire Engineers, USA Branch. Andy Woody is the current fire chief in the City of Searcy, Arkansas.

Humm said the community participating in this panel is vital.

"It is important for people to get to know our leadership," Humm said. "And city employees because we are all in this together. We are all living in this community."

This position was vacated about two months ago when Randy White retired.

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