Following a national search and an extensive interview process, the City of Chickasha is proud to announce that Brian Zalewski has been named the next Fire Chief for the City of Chickasha. Chief Zalewski has more than 20 years of experience in the fire and emergency medical services field with 18 of those years being with the Chickasha Fire Department. His supervisory responsibilities included emergency medical services director, training, fire investigations, hazardous material response and served as the Interim Fire Chief for the last 8 months.
Chief Zalewski started his career as a volunteer with the Weatherford Fire Department while attending college at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. He later served with Rush Springs and Anadarko Fire Departments before joining the Chickasha Fire Department. He also served as a critical care flight/ground paramedic for Mercy EMS.
Chief Zalewski holds a Bachelor of Technology degree from Oklahoma State University as well as degrees in Municipal Fire Protection and Nursing and is currently working to finish a Master's in Public Administration. Chief Zalewski will soon start his second year in the National Fire Academy's Executive Fire Officer Program.
In 2012, Chief Zalewski became a commissioned peace officer in an effort to strengthen the fire and arson investigation program within the department. He now holds Intermediate Peace Officer certification from the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) and has received hundreds of hours in fire investigation training and education.
Zalewski said, "I am very excited to hit the ground running with some of the best firefighters and paramedics in the State of Oklahoma. My vision for the department is to become a highly trained, all hazards response organization that utilizes best practices to provide excellent customer service ".
In appointing Chief Zalewski, City Manager Alan Guard stated, "Brian has served the citizens of Chickasha in an exemplary and professional manner as the interim chief these past eight months. He has been vetted through a thorough and exhaustive process against a talented and competitive pool of candidates from across the nation. Following this process, I am confident that Brian is the person to lead the Chickasha Fire Department to next level."
Chief Zalewski will assume his new command immediately. His starting salary will be $76,000.
Chief Zalewski and his wife Kim have two daughters.