As the city's next fire chief, Gladstone has chosen Rick Huffman, who has more than 35 years of experience working in emergency response.
Huffman served seven years in the U.S. Air Force as a firefighter/medic, worked for the Department of Defense as a rescue firefighter (including as a member of the NASA Space Shuttle Rescue Team) and retired from Washington state's Vancouver Fire Department as a battalion chief after 23 years of service.
Huffman has pre-existing relationships with the city of Gladstone. Most recently as director of Concordia University's Center for Emergency Solutions, he has provided the Gladstone Fire Department with incident commander training and certification for the past two years.
"In addition to their training, I hosted and participated in the hiring process for their full-time staffing of fire captains," Huffman said. "During this time I met and admired the passion and abilities of the Gladstone firefighters."