First female fire chief in Phenix City - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

First female fire chief in Phenix City

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By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email | Twitter

PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) - The Phenix City Fire Department says goodbye to one of its leaders, as Fire Chief Wallace Hunter announces his retirement.

Hunter, who also serves as the Phenix City Manager, is retiring from the fire department after serving for 25 years.

He tells News Leader Nine what he's enjoyed most is teaching young fire fighters by passing on his words of wisdom, "I'm proud that I was able to serve the city for 25 years, it's a good accomplishment. I had goals, and something I wanted to accomplish and this came faster than I thought it would, but it's been a joy."

Hunter will still serve as city manager and told everyone is attendance, he's still just a phone call away if they need any help.

As one chief steps down, another one is sworn in.. As the first woman to serve as Phenix City's Fire Chief.

Fire Chief Kris Kennedy told News Leader Nine, "Chief Hunter has blazed a trail for us in Phenix City and I hope to continue the legacy he's left."

"It's a wonderful feeling because most people don't have the opportunity to appoint the person coming behind them and the city is giving me the opportunity to do some things that haven't been done before," said Wallace Hunter.

Kris Kennedy is only the second woman in the state of Alabama to be given this title. She started her career with the fire department in 1989. And even then she was one of the first women on the job.

She said, "Though I am a woman and it's obvious I'm different, but I don't consider myself different. When I have to interact with employees, I'm just part of the department."

Chief Hunter says he is pleased to pass this honor on to her, "I'm a person that wants to see other people advance and see other people happy, and live their dreams. I have been a very fortunate person, I have nothing to complain about."

Chief Kennedy added, "Our fire department is on the right track and having worked for him, with him and under him for 21 years, I know what's expected of me as a leader in this department."

Chief Kennedy was sworn in at the Tuesday morning Phenix City Council meeting.

She is currently the Phenix City Fire Marshal, and will continue that job along with her new position.

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