Quest to hire new Topeka fire chief continues

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A lengthy search continues in Topeka.

As the city furthers their quest to find a new fire chief, three candidates got the lay of the land Wednesday.

KSNT News dug into each of the three hopefuls backgrounds, for a closer look at their qualifications.

First there’s Craig Duke, a veteran of the Kansas City Kansas Fire Department.

Through social media site LinkedIn, we’ve learned Duke has served his community on the board of directors for the eastern Kansas Red Cross.

The hopeful has also served internationally, with both Irish and U.K. departments.

When asked about the decision broaden search efforts beyond the community, Topeka mayor, Larry Wolgast said – “sometimes its helpful to have experiences other than in Topeka.”

As part of the city’s interview process, each candidate got a personal tour of its various fire facilities.

Candidate Gregory Hoggatt comes to the Capital City from Boynton Beach, Florida.

A request for comment from Hoggatt’s former employers was not returned.

The candidate’s LinkedIn profile reveals he’s a graduate of the national fire academy, with a master’s degree in public administration.

Topeka officials turned down a request for each of the candidates resumes – but third hopeful Randy Adams, posted his to the social media site.

Among listed qualifications is Adams effort to pass a half cent sales tax, to benefit fire fighting operations in Raymore, Missouri.

As each candidate got a feel for the city, mayor Wolgast said, “we want the top leader possible to head up the fire department…to give us the leadership then that will take us where the citizens and the community feels we should go.”

City leaders have made no official announcement about when a hiring decision will be made.


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