Stanford names McDaniel fire chief

October 16, 2003|EMILY BURTON

STANFORD - Two weeks before the retirement of Fire Chief Leroy Lunsford takes effect, city officials voted Wednesday night to accept Stanford police officer Kenneth McDaniel as the city's next chief.

Recommended by Mayor Eddie Carter, McDaniel was unanimously voted into the office at the special meeting, his wife and daughter sitting by his side as the council gave its verbal approval.

"Welcome aboard, Chief," said Carter. "We look forward to working with you."

Carter said he recommended McDaniel because of his extensive experience as a firefighter and emergency medical technician.

"He's very qualified. He's actually a state certified police officer, firefighter, EMT, and advanced airport safety and operations specialist at the Bluegrass Airport," said Carter.

McDaniel will start his new job Nov. 1 and be on probation for six months, after which his pay will be raised to Lunsford's current salary.


Lunsford announced his retirement earlier this month, after almost 18 years with the department.

A 17-year veteran of firefighting, McDaniel said he looks forward to applying his experience to his position as chief in Stanford and hopes to help the station grow with the community.

"We've been looking at ways to get young people involved and get our roster filled," said McDaniel.

Born in New Orleans, McDaniel attended Department of Criminal Justice training in Richmond and has held several rescue/law enforcement positions in central Kentucky, including EMT in Garrard County and volunteer firefighter in Lancaster.

He worked at Bluegrass Airport for 13 years as an advanced airport safety and operations specialist before joining the Stanford police force in 2002.

Currently, his son, Matt McDaniel, is a volunteer with the fire department, a fact Kenneth said will not affect how he deals with his volunteers.

"I'm still Daddy," McDaniel told council members with a laugh.

McDaniel and his wife, Tammy, have two daughters, Lauren and Amanda.

McDaniel also earned the approval of the firemen.

"We've been looking at ways to cut the budget ... We have seen some areas of waste, and Kenny is on board with our way of thinking," said volunteer firefighter Tim Lawson.

McDaniel said that, while the level of service provided by the department will not falter, there are areas, such as the cost of utilities at the station, that need to be examined.

"Without preventing us to do what we need to do, we're looking to find ways to cut anything we can to help the city save money," said McDaniel. "We have to do our part."

McDaniel said he appreciates the work of Lunsford and the current volunteers.

"... I was a volunteer, same as a lot of these guys are, and it's their department," said McDaniel. "They built it, they own it. Without them, there's not a department."

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