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Oklahoma City hires new Fire Chief

Post Date:09/29/2017 11:20 AM

City Manager Jim Couch announced Friday the selection of Richard A. Kelley as the City of Oklahoma City’s next Fire Chief.

Chief Kelley, currently the Deputy Chief of Operations, succeeds former Fire Chief Keith Bryant. Bryant recently became the U.S. Fire Administrator with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“Chief Kelley has earned his new position with his leadership and dedication throughout his 26 years of service as a City of Oklahoma City firefighter,” said Couch. “He’s a true reflection of what makes the Fire Department special – knowledge, work ethic and unfailing commitment to public service. The Fire Department is a high-performing organization with momentum that will continue under his leadership.”

Chief Kelley spent a year with the Will Rogers World Airport Fire Department before joining the City’s Fire Department 26 years ago.

He has spent much of his career focusing on rescue programs and special operations, building the city’s Urban Search and Rescue program in 2004. He’s fought countless fires over the course of his career and been involved with tornado response, swift-water rescues and various other emergencies.

“I’ve been truly blessed to earn this opportunity, and I’m excited for the challenge and to continue working with my friends and colleagues in the Fire Department,” said Chief Kelley. “I’m fortunate to work in a community that understands the value of public safety services. Leading the Fire Department is an honor that I accept with humility and enthusiasm.”

Chief Kelley will oversee 990 positions in the Fire Department (958 uniform and 32 civilian positions) in three divisions: Operational Services, Fire Prevention Services and Support Services.

Chief Kelley is a graduate of Moore High School and has an associate’s degree from Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City (OSU-OKC) in municipal fire protection. He completed the Oklahoma Executive Fire Officer Leadership Program in 2015 and is currently attending OSU-OKC to earn a bachelor’s degree in emergency responder administration.

Along with his wife, Elizabeth, Chief Kelley’s household includes daughters Mikayla, Johnna and Addison, and step-children Emily and Nick.

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Media Contact
Battalion Chief Benny Fulkerson
(405) 316-6897
benny.fulkerson@okc.gov

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