A few weeks ago Assistant City Manager Chance Allison announced the hiring of Shawnee's new fire chief. Rodney Foster — formerly of the Midwest City Fire Department — joined Shawnee's firefighter team this week. Monday officially was the start of Foster's duties here as chief, and Shawnee Forward organized a reception so residents could welcome him to the area.

Dozens took time out Tuesday afternoon to greet Foster and his family at the Shawnee Forward office downtown.

Deputy Chief Andy Starkey has been serving as interim chief since Dru Tischer retired in December.


Foster has more than 20 years of experience in fire service, having served at the Midwest City Fire Department, Allison said. For the past 11 years, he has served as training chief charged with training all Midwest City Fire personnel and serving as the health and safety officer or the department.

Additionally, Allison said Foster has been involved with the development and implementation of the Midwest City Fire Department budget and has conducted the hiring process for new recruits and proctored the promotional process.

Foster earned a Master of Science from Oklahoma State University in Fire and Emergency Management Administration.