New City of Columbia Fire Chief hopes to be accessible to the community
COLUMBIA - New Fire Chief Andy Woody always knew he wanted to be a firefighter because he grew up around fire stations as a kid, watching his father be a firefighter.
Woody became a firefighter at the age of 18 in Springfield, Missouri. In 2015, he became a training officer for the Searcy Fire Department in Arkansas and then moved to fire chief in 2017, according to a City of Columbia press release.
The City of Columbia will now swear in fire chief Andy Woody at the city council meeting Tuesday night.
He is excited to be back in Columbia in a new role.
"I've spent a lot of time in Columbia" Woody said. "I've worked for the University of Missouri fire rescue training team for nearly 20 years."
The first thing Woody wants to do is to get feedback from the community. He plans to go on a listening tour to hear what Columbia residents have to say about the fire department and what gaps they believe need to be filled in the department.
Woody plans on improving communication within the department and with the city as a whole.
"A city that's spread out like the city of Columbia with nine fire stations and three different shifts, there's a lot of communication ground to cover so to speak," Woody said. "Making sure everyone is on the same page is important."
Woody wants to be highly involved in the city. He plans to be an accessible fire chief, and said people can expect to see him all around the community.
"They'll see me in the public, they'll see me out a lot," Woody said. "They'll see me at fire stations, they'll see me at fires."
The public can meet Chief Woody Wednesday Jan. 22 at 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. in Conference Rooms 1A/1B at City Hall.