Whitefish Names New Fire Chief

By Beacon Staff

Whitefish has a new fire chief.

On Oct. 20, interim City Manager Dennis Taylor announced that Thomas Kennelly of Conifer, Colo., has been appointed as the city’s fire chief to replace David Sipe, who retired this summer. Sipe had been Whitefish’s fire chief since 1995 and a member of the fire department since 1978.

“He is the right person to take the Whitefish Fire Department to the next level,” Taylor said in a statement.

Kennelly was selected after a nationwide search in which the city received 45 applications for the position. Kennelly has 29 years of experience in fire, rescue and emergency services. Most recently, he was the fire chief for Conifer’s Elk Creek Fire Protection District, overseeing 65 employees. The Elk Creek district is about 25 miles southwest of Denver.

He arrives at a time of significant transition for the city’s fire and emergency services. The city is currently in the design planning stages for a new emergency services center on Baker Avenue that will house the city courts, police department and fire department. The center is part of an effort to expand the city’s emergency services into a 24-hour, seven-days-per-week operation. Kennelly will begin work on Nov. 3.

“I want to encourage everyone to give Chief Kennelly a warm welcome to Whitefish,” Taylor said.