A retired Olathe Fire Department battalion chief has been hired as Eudora's next fire chief, Eudora City Administrator John Harrenstein announced Monday.
Ken Keiter achieved the rank of battalion chief with the Olathe Fire Department in 2001, a position he held until 2012. He had joined the department immediately after graduating high school.
After retiring, he served as fire inspector for Johnson County's unincorporated area.
His first day as Eudora fire chief will be Jan. 14.
Keiter's hiring fills the position left open when the former fire chief, Chris Moore, resigned on Sept. 12. Moore wrote in his letter of resignation that, at the conclusion of a city strategic planning process, he believed the department needed a full-time chief. Pete Feyerabend, a five-year member of the department, served as acting fire chief during the hiring process.
Moore's resignation in September came two days after the resignation of the police chief, Grady Walker. David Burger, a former undersheriff with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, served as interim police chief, and in late November the city hired Bill Edwards, the chief of police in Park City, just north of Wichita, to lead the department.
Keiter was chosen from a field of 50 applicants, Harrenstein wrote in a news release, and was interviewed Dec. 21 by a citizen panel, a fire safety panel, city department heads and the city administrator. Harrenstein wrote that Keiter was chosen for experience, professional abilities, interpersonal skills and his focus on citizen satisfaction.