TOPEKA (KSNT) – Kansas Governor Laura Kelly has appointed the state’s newest state fire marshal on Friday.

Grace Hoge, a spokeswoman for the Office of the Governor, shared Kelly’s decision in a press release. Replacing the current State Fire Marshal Doug Jorgensen will be Mark Engholm.

“Throughout his 11 years as State Fire Marshal, Doug Jorgensen has worked tirelessly to protect Kansans and property from fires and to support communities in times of loss. I thank him for his service,” Kelly said. “I am also pleased to welcome Mark Engholm, who will bring immense experience and expertise in public safety to the Office of State Fire Marshal. I am confident his leadership will keep more Kansans safe.” 

Engholm began his career in 1990, serving as a firefighter in Geary and Osage Counties, according to the Office of the Governor. He later joined the Shawnee Heights Fire District in 2003 and later received awards for Firefighter of the Year in 2005 and 2007. In 2008, he became a squad leader and then division chief in 2016.

Other experience working for the state of Kansas includes time spent with the Kansas All Hazards Incident Management Team, serving as deputy director of the Kansas Intelligence Fusion Center and as a trooper with the Kansas Highway Patrol. Engholm has also spent time working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.

“I am humbled and honored to be selected by Governor Kelly as the 27th Fire Marshal for the State of Kansas,” Engholm said. “I look forward to returning to fire service, an area of public safety that I’ve spent more than 25 years. In doing so, I will work with the fire service agencies across Kansas as they face increasing challenges in recruiting, equipping, training, and retaining firefighters, especially in our rural communities.” 

Engholm will take up an acting role until he receives confirmation from the Kansas Senate, according to the Office of the Governor. His first day as acting state fire marshal will be Nov. 13, wherein Jorgensen will fill a deputy position to help with the transition of leadership until his planned retirement in December.

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