Wichita fire chief announces retirement

Wichita Fire Chief Ron Blackwell (KSN Photo)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita Fire Chief Ron Blackwell has announced that he will retire in July. Blackwell has served as fire chief for nearly 10 years. Here is the letter he sent to the city.

I have tendered my intent to retire to the City Manager. My last in the office will be July 14, 2017. It has been my distinct honor to serve the citizens and residents of the City of Wichita as Fire Chief for almost 10 years.

Moments like this bring mixed emotions. While I am happily looking forward to retirement, there are many things I will miss. Among them are the camaraderie and support of civilian and uniform members of the department. However, I have reached a point in time for the next Fire Chief to implement, manage, and imprint several important projects including Optimized Deployment, Property Protection Analysis, Fleet Projects, Promotion Process, Recruit Class, Fleet and Facilities projects.

It has been both a challenge and a great honor to be called “Chief”, to work with some of the best fire service professionals in this very important business. I sincerely appreciate your service and our shared commitment to improve our service, enhance member safety and make the best use of new and existing resources. Organizationally our department is strong and when called upon does not falter. As I head out I am reminded of a quote from W.E.B. Du Bois, “I have loved my work, I have loved people and my play, but always I have been uplifted by the thought that what I (we) have done well will live long and justify my life (our lives), that what I have done ill or never finished can now be handed on to others for endless days to be finished, perhaps better than I could have done.”

I am grateful and humbled to have been a part of the Wichita Fire Department and to have had such a wonderful opportunity to serve with you.

WICHITA FIRE DEPARTMENT

Ronald D. Blackwell