After a national search and extensive interviews with staff and community-wide stakeholders, the City of Lee’s Summit recently announces the selection of Rick Poeschl as the new fire chief. There will be a swearing-in ceremony held in the coming weeks. Poeschl has been serving as the City’s acting fire chief of the department of 144 employees since the retirement of Keith Martin in September 2014.
“I am honored to be chosen as the chief of the Lee’s Summit Fire Department and am excited about our future," says Poeschl. "The department is made up of a great group of dedicated personnel committed to providing service excellence. Our department continues to strive to achieve accreditation through the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) by measuring our work against industry standards of excellence – basically holding up a mirror and asking 'How are we doing?' We are looking for continual improvement in our service delivery, and have made strides in those areas.”
Among his goals are to build upon those departmental successes by improving and enhancing internal and external communication promoting community involvement.
In regard to selecting Chief Poeschl to the top ranking position with the department, City Manager Stephen Arbo says, “It was clear Rick possesses the leadership skills and vision to serve as our next fire chief. My decision was based upon a combination of his 26 years of experience as a firefighter, engineer, fire specialist, captain, battalion chief and assistant chief of support services and his performance during the last six months as the acting fire chief.”
Poeschl has an impressive fire safety background – all with the Lee’s Summit Fire Department. He began his career with the department in 1988 and quickly moved up the ranks serving in several positions before eventually being named as assistant chief of support services in January 2004. For the last six months, he has served in this prominent role as well as acting fire chief.
He has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a minor in fire protection technology from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, as well as attended the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
Poeschl is a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the Missouri Fire Chiefs Association, Heart of America Association of Fire Chiefs, and Western Missouri Fire Chiefs Association.
He has been married to Jackie for 25 years and they are the proud parents of 24-year-old Kelcie, 21-year-old Benjamin and 18-year-old Danny.