Joplin City Manager Nick Edwards has announced Gerald Ezell as the new Fire Chief. Ezell brings more than 33 years of fire service to the community, with 20 of those spent in Joplin. He currently serves as Fire Chief for Maumelle, Arkansas.
“Gerald brings much experience to this position and will be an excellent addition to the City’s management team,” said Edwards. “As the City progresses with building Station 7 and addressing numerous actions plans involving the Fire Department, I am confident that he will serve the community well and lead the department with the intention of efficiency and cohesiveness.”
Ezell retired as a Battalion Chief from the City’s Fire Department in 2010. During his tenure in the department, he also served as a volunteer firefighter for the Diamond Area Fire Protection District. Upon his retirement from Joplin, he became the Fire Chief in Diamond and served four years in this role. Ezell then moved to Maumelle, Ark., to serve as their Fire Chief. He also is their emergency management coordinator.
Ezell is a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer program at the National Fire Academy and holds the Chief Fire Officer designation. He has extensive training in safety and high-danger emergency response from National Incident Management Systems (NIMS) of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). He has a Bachelor of Science in management from Ashworth College in Norcross, Ga., and an Associate Degree in Fire Science.
“I am thrilled to be able to come back and continue my service to the citizens of Joplin and continue the rich tradition that the Joplin Fire Department has in providing top-notch customer service,” said Ezell. “Joplin is home and it is wonderful to bring my family back. I look forward to meeting with the tremendous employees of the Fire Department as well as the other City departments, and getting to work for the citizens. I want to thank City Manager Nick Edwards, City department heads, and employees for placing their trust in me."
Chief Ezell’s appointment will begin Monday, February 7, 2022. He and his wife, Nancy, have two daughters, Gabrielle and Kayla, and a son, Smoke.