Executive Staff


Fire Chief Kara Kalkbrenner

A native Phoenician, Fire Chief Kara Kalkbrenner joined the Phoenix Fire Department in 1985. During her 32 plus years of service, she has held the ranks of Firefighter, Fire Engineer, Fire Captain, Division Chief, Deputy Chief and Executive Assistant Chief of Administration.

Chief Kalkbrenner is one of only six female Fire Chiefs of large metropolitan fire departments in the country. Her philosophy is that public administrators are community stakeholders and play an integral role in shaping the communities where we work and live. Chief Kalkbrenner leads 2,000 members and oversees an operating budget of more than $300 million dollars, carefully stewarding taxpayer dollars and city resources while serving as Phoenix Fire Department's liaison to City Hall and the City's Law Department.

Chief Kalkbrenner has served in every operational capacity within the Department's six divisions, including Operations (Fire and Emergency Medical Services response), Fire Prevention, Human Resources, Physical Resources, Information Technology, and Training. That experience has provided her with the insight and understanding of all aspects of the Phoenix Fire Department.

Chief Kalkbrenner's Labor/Management Team created a three-year Strategic Plan through 2019 that addresses the future of the community and fire department. The Strategic Plan includes six key initiatives:

  • Comprehensive Training and Development
  • Technology and Communications
  • Assess and Prioritize Fire Department Programs and Needs
  • Management of Human Resources
  • Analysis and Management of Data
  • Emergency Service Delivery and Deployment Model

She holds an Associate Degree in Fire S​cience from Phoenix College and a Bachelor's Degree in Fire Service Management from Ottawa University. She has served as adjunct instructor for the Fire Services program at Maricopa County Community Colleges.

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