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Overland Park’s fire chief retires — Here’s what happens next

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The process of finding Overland Park’s next fire chief is underway following the official retirement of Fire Chief Byran Dehner in March.

The city has begun steps to fill this prominent role, which city officials say “leads the fire department, ensuring high-quality fire protection for Overland Park and surrounding communities.”

Here’s the latest:

Dehner retired after 29 years of service

  • He became the head of the Overland Park Fire Department in 1994 and served as its leader through a period of growth and change.
  • During his time, Dehner oversaw the merger of the city fire department with Johnson County Fire District No. 2 and the integration of the Merriam Fire Department.
  • Dehner also helped establish the Fire Science program with the Blue Valley School District, which offers skills-based training to students interested in pursuing careers as firefighters.
Overland Park fire chief
Overland Park Fire Chief Bryan Dehner at the reception for his retirement in March. Photo via City of Overland Park.

Overland Park now has an interim fire chief

  • Overland Park’s deputy chiefs will both serve as interim chiefs until a new fire chief is named, said Overland Park Communications Manager Meg Ralph.
  • Deputy Chief Brad Cusick is currently the interim fire chief, while Deputy Chief Alan Long will fill the position during May and June.

The city wants someone with several years of experience

  • Candidates are expected to have 15 years of experience in local government fire, rescue and emergency medical operations, and someone with five years of senior command staff and management experience is preferred, according to the job description.
  • General qualifications also include a bachelor’s degree in a related field of study. The city has a preference for candidates with a master’s degree with a focus in administration.
  • A full list of general qualifications, as well as the position’s duties and responsibilities, can be found here.

A new fire chief is expected to be named soon

  • Overland Park City Manager Lori Curtis Luther and the city’s human resources department will lead a search for internal and external candidates in the following months.
  • Ralph said Luther is expected to name a new fire chief this summer.

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About the author

Nikki Lansford
Nikki Lansford

Hi! I’m Nikki, and I cover the city of Overland Park.

I grew up in southern Overland Park and graduated from Olathe East before going on to earn a degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. At Mizzou, I worked as a reporter and editor at the Columbia Missourian. Prior to joining the Post, I had also done work for the Northeast News, PolitiFact Missouri and Kaiser Health News.

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