chief kyle1PADUCAH, KY (6/11/12) – During the opening ceremony at the 83rd Annual Kentucky Homeland Security Conference and State Fire School held Friday, June 8, Paducah Fire Chief Steve Kyle received the Fire Chief of the Year Award through the Kentucky Association of Fire Chiefs (KAFC). Chief Kyle says, "I am very humbled and honored to be selected. I couldn't do the job that I do without the support of my family and the employees who work for me."
The KAFC recognized one career fire chief and one volunteer fire chief at the ceremony. KAFC Executive Director Daniel Castle says, “We know how hard all fire chiefs work across the Commonwealth, and we feel it’s the least the Kentucky Association of Fire Chiefs can do to recognize two outstanding public servants.”
Mayor Bill Paxton says, “Chief Kyle is a leader, communicator, and innovator who believes collaborations within his department and between agencies make Paducah and the surrounding region stronger.” Selection criteria for the award emphasize leadership, innovation, professional development, integrity, service to the public, and contributions to the fire service as a whole.
Chief Kyle’s award nomination highlights his professional affiliations, certifications through the National Fire Academy, and community collaborations including his appointment as president of Haz Mat #1. The award nomination also provides an overview of the changes he has implemented within the Paducah Fire Department including a voluntary physical agility test, transitional duty policy, an annual performance appraisal, the expansion of company level training programs, and the enhancement of the equipment maintenance program. IAFF Local 168 President Barry Carter says, “Chief Kyle has taken a proactive position of increasing the safety levels for the firefighters who work for the City.”
The City of Paducah hired Steve Kyle as battalion chief/fire marshal in 1998. With the retirement of Chief Redell Benton in 2008, Kyle was appointed to acting chief. In January 2009, Kyle was officially promoted to fire chief.
Also at the ceremony, the Kentucky Association of Fire Chiefs named the Volunteer Chief of the Year, Chief Jeff Wendt, Crescent Springs-Villa Hills Fire/EMS.

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