Three Topeka fire chief candidates will visit the city next week

By Luke Ranker
Topeka Capital Journal – February 13, 2017

Three vying for Topeka’s open fire chief position will visit the city next week and attend a public meet and greet in downtown.

The candidates will attend a daylong interview and learning session Feb. 22 before the meet and greet scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. at Jayhawk Gallery, 720 SW Jackson, the city of Topeka said Monday. After receiving 68 applications and interviewing 18 possible candidates, city staff chose three candidates:

Randy Adams, fire chief and district manager for South Metropolitan Fire Protection District in Raymore, Mo.
Craig Duke, former deputy fire chief of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kan.
Gregory Hoggatt Sr., deputy chief of operations and emergency manager for Boynton Beach Fire Rescue in Boynton Beach, Fla.

“These candidates have exceptional maturity and leadership skills,” interim city manager Doug Gerber said in a prepared statement. “They are problem solvers and service-minded, and we are looking forward to bringing them into our City to meet the rest of the Topeka’s leadership team and the community.”

The interview process will include a meal with Gerber and Mayor Larry Wolgast, panel interviews with fire staff and facilities tours.

This is the city’s second attempt to bring candidates to the city. The process was delayed in December when candidate William “Doug” Fowler, assistant fire chief for Austin, Texas, dropped out of the running in favor of a job with the South Padre Island Fire Department. They then solicited new applications.

Duke, 31 year veteran of the Kansas City, Kan., department, has been a candidate since the beginning. He worked up from a firefighter through the ranks of apparatus driver, captain, battalion chief and assistant chief to deputy fire chief before retiring in 2015, according to a release from the city of Topeka.

He developed the fire department’s first fire cadet program as well as a first responder program in Kansas City’s USD 500 school system. He also organized CPR and first aid classes for Spanish-speaking citizens. Duke also served as the Kansas Fire/EMS Commander for the Katrina Hurricane Response and has served on the Mid-America Regional Council as co-chair for the Regional Technical Rescue Teams.

Duke earned a Bachelor of Arts in Management and Human Relations from MidAmerica Nazarene University and an Associate of Arts in Fire Science from Kansas City Community College. He has also been certified as a Kansas emergency manager.

Hoggart Sr. has 29 years with fire department, primarily the Orlando Fire Department, according to the release from the city. At Boynton Beach Fire Rescue, he oversees fire operations as well as the training division, EMS, budgets, fleet maintenance, and facilities. As emergency manager, he was tasked with reviewing coordinated response plans, developing a disaster checklist for the city manager and training city personnel to be prepared for all potential disasters, especially hurricanes.

He earned an Associate’s in Fire Science from Valencia Community College, a Bachelor’s in Organizational Management from Warner Southern College and a Master’s in Public Administration from Barry University. He also graduated from the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program.

Adams has 22 years of experience with fire departments, 15 of which have been with the South Metropolitan Fire Protection District, according the city’s release.

He helped pass a half-cent sales tax to support firefighting operations and two separate bond issues worth more than $10 million for various capital investments, including new apparatus, a new fire station and a new training complex. Adams wrote two successful federal fire grants for safety and emergency response equipment, according to the release.

He has an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Fire Science Technology from the Metropolitan Community College, a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Columbia Southern University and a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Columbia Southern University.

 

Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
http://www.ksffa.com
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page

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