jake rhoadesAn Edmond, Oklahoma man has been selected as the new Fire Department Chief for the City of Kingman. City Manager John Dougherty has announced the hiring of Jake Rhoades.  “I’m excited to have such a strong, dynamic leader taking over for a solid, vibrant, great long-time Fire Chief in Chuck Osterman,” Dougherty said. Osterman is retiring at the end of the year, following a 38 year career with the city.   Rhoades was one of 25 people from 17 states to apply for the post. He and Assistant Kingman Fire Chief Keith Eaton were the finalists considered before Dougherty selected Rhoades.   Rhoades has 22 years of experience in the fire service. He served as Fire Chief in Edmond for nearly two years, saying he resigned in August due to department infighting.    Rhoades said he is pleased to find another Chief’s position so quickly, and to inherit a department that has been administered so well.    “The fortunate thing for me is that Chief Osterman and the City of Kingman have been doing it so well for a long time,” Rhoades said. He recognized he’ll be the new kid on the block, stepping into a tight-knit firefighter fraternity.    “That’s always a challenge, coming in from the outside. I’ve done it a couple of times in my career,” Rhoades said. “That’s what leadership is founded on. That’s one thing I’ll have to work at, but it won’t take long for the guys to see that I am there for them and delivering the best service to the City of Kingman.”    Rhoades said he had an opportunity to see Kingman firefighters interact with the public when they recently waited tables at a fundraiser at Chilis.   “You could tell their level of customer service is tremendous,” he said. “And the level of support they have from the community is tremendous and that comes as a testament to what Chief Osterman has done over the years.”    Rhoades said he’ll soon visit Kingman to begin a housing search. His wife, a school teacher, and their 15 year-old son will be relocating to Kingman while their 21 year-old son may do so as well.
Rhoades will spend a week in early December job-shadowing Osterman before taking over the department in January at an annual salary of $102,000.