Clayton, MO – Ernest (Ernie) Rhodes III will serve as the chief of the Clayton Fire Department starting on Aug. 23, 2021.
The City of Clayton conducted a nationwide search for the position with the help of Gov HR, a national public sector recruitment firm, and picked Rhoades. He will oversee 42 uniformed employees and one civilian employee responding to all fire and EMS emergencies.
“I am honored to have been selected to serve as Fire Chief for the City of Clayton Fire Department,” said Chief Rhodes. “Having over 30 years of fire service experience in the St. Louis region, the Clayton Fire Department has a strong reputation as one of the best municipal departments in the region, and I look forward to working alongside the exceptional men and women of the department.”
He has served as the fire department chief for more than 18 years, including the West County EMS and Fire Protection District and Director of Emergency Management for the City of St. Charles. Before the City of Clayton, Rhoades led the Janesville and Milton Fire District team in Wisconsin.
He specializes in Disaster and Emergency Management and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Urban Search and Rescue. He holds a bachelor's degree from National Louis University.
“Chief Rhodes has an impressive record of accomplishments. His experience will serve as a great asset in the services we provide to the Clayton community, and we look forward to him joining our team," said City Manager David Gipson.
Gipson was one of the selection team members for the nationwide candidate search. The team evaluated the applications and conducted interviews to find the right candidate for the city's fire department.
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