West Des Moines, Iowa — City Manager Tom Hadden announced Monday that Craig Leu has accepted an offer to serve as the new Fire Chief for the City of West Des Moines. The position was previously held by Fire Chief Donald Cox, who retired in January of this year after 14.5 years of service in West Des Moines.
Craig Leu has 24 years of experience in fire service, including 11 years in management with the Sedgwick County Fire District #1 in Park City, Kansas. He currently serves as Deputy Fire Marshal, and has also served as Deputy Chief of Operations, Captain, Lieutenant and Firefighter with Sedgwick County Fire District #1.
The Sedgwick County Fire District #1 has nine fire stations and approximately 140 full-time employees who serve a population of 70,000.
Leu has a Master of Science in Leadership with an Emphasis in Disaster Preparedness and Executive Fire Leadership from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona, a Bachelor of General Studies from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas, and an Associate’s Degree from Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kansas.
In addition to numerous firefighting certificates, he has completed the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program.
His annual salary will be $120,000. Leu will begin his employment with the City of West Des Moines on July 27, 2015.
The West Des Moines Fire Department employs 48 full-time line personnel, 6 full-time command staff, 3 full time support staff and 41 paid-on-call firefighters. The Department operates out of 5 fire stations, one of which is operated and funded with the City of Clive. West Des Moines was the first Fire Department in the state of Iowa to be accredited in 2006 through the Commission of Fire Service Accreditation and it is the largest combination department in the state. The Department maintains its accreditation annually.