Tammy Snow, a nearly 30-year veteran of the Wichita Fire Department (WFD), has been appointed head of the department following a national search, City Manager Robert Layton announced on Thursday.
Snow has served as the WFD interim Chief since July, when longtime Fire Chief Ronald D. Blackwell retired. She inherits a department that local residents have recognized for its excellence, consistently giving it high marks in surveys of City services.
"Chief Snow recognizes the exceptional service already provided by the Wichita Fire Department and will build on that record to create a nationally recognized department," Layton said. "Her collaborative leadership style and dedication to excellence is well suited to address the issues and challenges facing a 21st century Fire Department."
Snow is the first female chief of the WFD, founded in 1886.
"I am not only honored and humbled to be selected as the 14th Fire Chief for the Wichita Fire Department but extremely excited to be provided the opportunity to enhance the department's exceptional services through innovation and capitalizing on opportunities," Snow said. "My successes are a direct reflection of the stellar personnel composing the department and with their help, I look forward to creating a fire service department that not only exceeds community expectations but industry standards."
Snow began working for the WFD in 1988. She served as a Firefighter, Lieutenant, Captain, and Battalion Chief before being appointed a Division Chief in 2011. As a Division Chief, she directed the WFD Operations Division. She has a bachelor of arts and a master's in education from Wichita State University.
The Wichita Fire Department serves more than 382,000 residents in the area. In addition to Wichita, the WFD provides emergency responses throughout the metropolitan area through automatic and mutual aid agreements with surrounding jurisdictions. Snow will oversee a nearly $46 million budget and about 425 employees representing the Emergency Operations and Support Services divisions. The Emergency Operations Division, comprised of 412 employees, responds to fires and other emergencies from the City's 22 firehouses.