In historical move, Kansas City drops ‘interim’ tag and makes Donna Maize city’s first female fire chief

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For the first time in the department’s 151-year history, a woman will be the chief of Kansas City’s firefighters. City Manager Troy Schulte said Wednesday that acting fire chief Donna Maize now has the permanent position. She had been in the interim role since September 8.

“I thrive on the positivity I receive daily from the department and see a renewed sense of purpose in our responders,” Maize stated in a news release.

She has more than 27 years of experience with the city, most recently as assistant city manager for public safety. She graduated from National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer Program, and progressed through KCFD from firefighter to assistant fire chief. She also graduated from the University of Central Missouri with a bachelor’s in public relations and the University of Kansas with a master’s in public administration.

Maize has bloodlines within KCFD; her father had a distinguished career with department. She began her service in 1992, her last assignment was commanding the Technical Services Bureau, which includes fleet, facilities, IT, logistics and other core internal functions.

She then accepted Schulte’s invitation to transition from the fire service to work as assistant city manager for public safety.

“Chief Maize is clearly a great leader, and has proven her abilities in every job she’s had,” Schulte stated in a news release. “As a second-generation KCFD firefighter, she understands the legacy and tradition, while bringing modern management skills to the department.”

Maize succeeds Gary Reese, who stepped down as fire chief in August.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.