Following a national search, Springfield has promoted from within in naming David Pennington the city’s new fire chief.
Pennington, currently assistant fire chief, will assume the new role on May 28. He replaces David Hall, who took an emergency preparedness role with Missouri State University earlier this year.
Pennington has served as interim fire chief since late January. He began his fire service career as a volunteer with the Logan-Rogersville Fire Protection District in 1994, and joined the Springfield Fire Department in 1998.
“While we received a high-quality applicant pool, when comparing the breadth and depth of experience of the top candidates, it became evident that the City’s internal candidate, Assistant Chief David Pennington, stood out with regard to the needs of the Springfield Fire Department,” said City Manager Greg Burris in a news release. “His educational and professional accomplishments, departmental knowledge, experience and expertise, as well as enthusiasm for leading our Fire Department in the coming years propelled him to the top of a capable and well-qualified group.”
According to a news release, since arriving in Springfield Pennington has been promoted to the ranks of rescue specialist, truck company captain, fire captain and battalion chief. As battalion chief, he served in the operations division, as the chief of special operations, and as the acting assistant fire chief of the training division. He became the assistant fire chief of operations in 2010.
“I am thankful to the selection committee and City Manager Greg Burris for the confidence they have in me to lead the Fire Department. The City of Springfield is a special place, and I am honored to work with the officers and firefighters of the SFD, and our partner agencies, in service to our community,” Pennington said.
Pennington has been awarded designation as a Chief Fire Officer through the Center for Public Safety Excellence, and was selected as the 2015 Fire Officer of the Year by the Springfield Fire Department. He has been a faculty member of Missouri State University’s Department of Communication since 2005.
Pennington obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Communication and a Master of Science in Administrative Studies from MSU. He also holds a graduate certificate in public management from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
The release states that Pennington’s salary will be $125,000 a year.
According to the city, the Springfield Fire Department provides emergency services in an 82-plus square-mile area from 12 fire stations with a full-time staff of more than 220 dedicated professionals. The department is accredited by the Center for Public Safety Excellence and has an ISO Class 2 rating.