Twenty-six years after signing on as a Kansas City firefighter, Paul Berardi has become the chief of the department.
The new chief replaces Richard “Smoky” Dyer who retired.
Berardi comes out of a nationwide search selection process to take over the job. His promotion was announced by City Manager Troy Schulte.
Berardi spent 11 years as one of the department’s deputy chiefs.
From the time he was a captain, close observers of firefighting thought Berardi retained the skills, intuition and coolness under stress he’d learned and applied to the science of suppressing fire. Later, managerial skills paid off during tumultuous times of the department takeover of the former MAST Ambulance Service.
During that period, Berardi headed the department’s Medical Bureau.