FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
After a nationwide search, City Manager Greg Burris has named Assistant Fire Chief of Operations David Pennington fire chief effective May 28. He was sworn in May 26.
A fire chief search committee comprised of City staff, Liberty Fire Chief Mike Snider and local emergency service agencies highly recommended Pennington.
Pennington has served as the interim fire chief since Jan. 27, when former chief David Hall retired from the Fire Department in February to join Missouri State University as its first emergency preparedness manager.
“While we received a high-quality applicant pool, when comparing the breadth and depth of experience of the top candidates, it became evident that the City’s internal candidate, Assistant Chief David Pennington, stood out with regard to the needs of the Springfield Fire Department,” said City Manager Greg Burris. “His educational and professional accomplishments, departmental knowledge, experience and expertise, as well as enthusiasm for leading our Fire Department in the coming years propelled him to the top of a capable and well-qualified group.”
Pennington began his fire service career as a volunteer firefighter with the Logan-Rogersville Fire Protection District in 1994, and joined the Springfield Fire Department in 1998. He promoted to the ranks of rescue specialist, truck company captain, fire captain and battalion chief. As battalion chief, he served in the operations division, as the chief of special operations, and as the acting assistant fire chief of the training division. He became the assistant fire chief of operations in 2010.
“I am thankful to the selection committee and City Manager Greg Burris for the confidence they have in me to lead the Fire Department. The City of Springfield is a special place, and I am honored to work with the officers and firefighters of the SFD, and our partner agencies, in service to our community,” Pennington said.
Pennington has been awarded designation as a Chief Fire Officer through the Center for Public Safety Excellence, and was selected as the 2015 Fire Officer of the Year by the Springfield Fire Department. He has been a faculty member of Missouri State University’s Department of Communication since 2005.
Pennington obtained a bachelor of science degree in organizational communication and a master of science in administrative studies from MSU. He also holds a graduate certificate in public management from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Pennington is a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, Missouri Valley Fire Chiefs Association, Queen City Fire Chiefs Association, Region-D Regional Homeland Security Oversight Committee and the Fire Science Advisory Board for Ozarks Technical Community College, and serves as the fire service representative to the advisory board for the Missouri Information Analysis Center.
Pennington serves on the boards of directors for the Ozark Trails Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Leadership Springfield and the Community Investment Panel for the United Way of the Ozarks. He is married and has two sons.
The process to backfill the assistant fire chief position will begin immediately. The Fire Department will host an open house for the community to meet the new fire chief this summer.
Pennington’s salary will be $125,000 a year.
The Springfield Fire Department provides emergency services in an 82-plus square-mile area from 12 fire stations with a full-time staff of more than 220 dedicated professionals. The department is accredited by the Center for Public Safety Excellence and has an ISO Class 2 rating.
The department’s services include:
- Emergency fire protection
- Fire prevention through public education
- Assistance in medical emergencies
- Water rescues
- Technical rescues
- Hazardous materials response
- Investigations and inspections
- Continuous education and training for all Fire Department employees.
Fire Chief Search Committee
- Assistant City Manager Collin Quigley, chair
- Darla Morrison, Human Resources director, City of Springfield
- Bob Patterson, director, Mercy Emergency Medical Services
- Zim Schwartze, director, Springfield-Greene County 911 Emergency Communications
- Mike Snider, fire chief, Liberty, Missouri
- Chris Straw, Building Development Services director, City of Springfield
- Paul Williams, police chief, City of Springfield
- Ryan Verch, Greene County regional manager, CoxHealth
For more information, please contact Chief Pennington at 417-874-2319 or Director of Public Information and Civic Engagement Cora Scott at 417-864-1009 or 417-380-3352 or [email protected].