New Shawnee Heights fire chief appointed

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) - A local fire department has appointed a new fire chief Friday.

The governing board of the Shawnee Heights Fire District appointed Rick Deibert as the District's new fire chief. Deibert will filll the seat of Tom Garcia, who retired in January.

Deibert started his service as a volunteer firefighter in Oberlin, Kansas in 1986. He was hired by the Great Bend Fire Department in 1986, where he progressed to the rank of captain and obtained paramedic certification.

In 2005, Deibert left Great Bend to become the Technical Rescue Program Manager for the Kansas Fire and Rescue Training Institute (KF&RTI) at the University of Kansas.  Deibert was responsible for creating and managing the statewide technical rescue program for KF&RTI.

Deibert later served as a contract Firefighter / Paramedic in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2012, Deibert was hired as a Battalion Chief with the Shawnee Heights Fire District and has been serving as Interim Fire Chief until the Boards appointment.

Deibert earned an Associate Degree in EMS from Barton County Community College, a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Management from Friends University and is currently a third year student in the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer Program.

Chief Deibert is married to Linda and they have two grown children and five grandchildren.



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