Deputy Chief Tammy Snow has been named interim chief of the Wichita Fire Department.
Snow will assume her new position when Fire Chief Ron Blackwell retires on Friday, Wichita City Manager Robert Layton announced Tuesday. She becomes Wichita’s first female fire chief.
“Deputy Chief Snow’s leadership skills and professional knowledge will guide the department during this interim period,” Layton said in a statement.
Blackwell served the department for more than 20 years over two stints, starting as a firefighter in 1975 and becoming Deputy Fire Chief in 1989. He left to serve as interim executive director of the International Association of Arson Investigators, then was named fire chief of Prince George’s County and then Anne Arundel County in Maryland.
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Blackwell returned to Wichita in 2007, becoming the city’s first African-American fire chief.
Snow began working for the WFD in 1988, rising over the years from firefighter to division chief. She has been a division chief since 2011 and directs the operations division.
Layton said he will begin a national search to find Blackwell’s successor.