‘IT’S AN HONOR FOR ME’
Rhoades said when he learned he was chosen to be the new fire chief in Edmond, which is always ahead in the fire service, he was elated. He said Harryman did a great job during his years of service, and the citizens have supported the department with their tax dollars.
“I’m still amazed every time I walk here into this office or if somebody calls me chief here, it’s an honor for me,” he said as he sat in his office behind his desk. “To serve these guys and the citizens of Edmond is a true honor for me.”
From city leadership, to the guys in the department to the citizens his reception has been fantastic, Rhoades said. Edmond residents take pride in their community and the department will continue to work to provide outstanding customer service, he said.
Rhoades said he brings a fresh set of eyes and experience in various aspects of the fire service. He’s taking time to see how the department operates and he’s also getting to know Edmond. He said he understands the value of accreditation and he expects a high level of customer service.
“If we need another station, we’re definitely going to look hard at that,” he said.
Another priority for Rhoades is firefighter safety, doing whatever it takes to make sure that they are properly equipped. His résumé also includes obtaining designations from the Center of Public Safety Excellence as both a chief fire officer and chief medical officer. He also served as the Arkansas state advocate for the “Everyone Goes Home” program, and has served as a regional trainer for the Firefighter Near Miss program.
Rhoades said he stresses the importance of communication within the department. He said he also is mindful of the need to spend tax dollars wisely and to be transparent.
Away from the office, he enjoys doing things with his wife and his sons. JT, 19, is going to college in Arizona. Carter, 13, is a student at Cheyenne Middle School. He said he also believes that God plays a part in guiding his life, and that he is here for a reason.
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