Kansas City Fire Department Chief Paul Berardi has retired after 32 years of service, including the last five as the city’s top firefighter.
Deputy Chief Mark Mauer is the interim Fire Chief. The first round of interviews for internal candidates for Fire Chief are scheduled to begin Dec. 15.
In his resignation letter, Berardi expressed great pride in being able to serve as chief and thanked City Manager Troy Schulte, the City Council, KCMO residents and his staff for their support.
“We have met many challenges these past five years and it has been a great honor to be called “Chief,” Berardi said. “I have had the honor of working alongside some of the best fire and EMS service professionals anywhere and sincerely appreciate your commitment to the labor and management partnership that has done much to fuel our improvement. Organizationally our department is strong and, when called upon, it has never faltered and never will.”
Under Berardi’s leadership, several programs designed to improve the department were launched. Among those he said he’s most proud of are:
- Apprentice program for high school students
- Decentralized and electronic in-service training
- Regionalized dispatching
“Chief Berardi has done an outstanding job leading our fire department and we will sorely miss his dedication and commitment to making sure that all our residents receive the best fire and EMS service in the country,” Schulte said. “I don’t necessarily look forward to trying to fill his shoes, but I believe the groundwork he’s laid for the next chief is solid and I thank him for that.”