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Columbia to host public meet-and-greet with four fire chief finalists

File photo
John Ambra
City of Columbia
John Ambra
Chuck Doss, Pre Hospital Services
City of Columbia
Chuck Doss
Jeffrey Heidenreich
City of Columbia
Jeffrey Heidenreich
Brian Schaeffer
City of Columbia
Brian Schaeffer


The City of Columbia announced in a Tuesday press release that it will hold a meet-and-greet next week for the public to meet the final four candidates being considered to be the next fire chief.

The gathering will take place 5-7 p.m. Thursday, June 6 at City Hall.

The city is looking to fill its open fire chief position after Chief Clayton Farr Jr. retired on April 1. Michael Arnhart has been serving as the interim chief.

Its final four candidates are Deputy Fire Chief John Ambra, Assistant Fire Chief Jeffrey Heidenreich, MU Health Care clinical manager Chuck Doss and Spokane, Washington, Assistant Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer.

Ambra has worked at the Columbia Fire Department since 2004, the release says. He has served as a firefighter, fire engineer, fire lieutenant, fire captain, fire battalion chief and deputy fire chief.  According to the release, he previously worked at the International Brother of Electrical Workers as a journeyman electrician from 2001-04 and South Kansas City Electric as an apprentice electrician from 1998-2001. 

Heidenreich has worked at the Columbia Fire Department since 2008, the release says. He has served as a firefighter, engineer, lieutenant, captain, Commission on Fire Accreditation International accreditation manager and assistant fire chief, the release says. Heidenreich earned a master of business administration from Columbia College. The release says Heidenreich has a bachelor of science degree in business administration from the University of Missouri and he was a graduate of Rock Bridge High School.

Doss has been a clinical manager of prehospital services at MU Health Care since 2021, according to the release. He has been a member of Missouri Task Force 1 since 2000 and, according to the release, has worked as the Boone County Fire Protection District as battalion chief and assistant to the fire chief, Boone Hospital Center as a paramedic, the City of Olathe Fire Department as a firefighter and paramedic, Boone Hospital Center as an EMT, paramedic and transport coordinator, the Boone County Fire Protection District as a firefighter and lieutenant, and the Battlefield Fire Protection District as a volunteer firefighter. 

Doss has a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Waldorf University, a bachelor’s degree in fire science - fire administration from Columbia Southern University, an associate degree in fire science from Kansas City Kansas Community College, the release says. He is also a graduate from Kickapoo High School in Springfield.

Schaeffer has served as the assistant fire chief and fire chief of the Spokane Fire Department since 2005, the release says. He was previously the deputy fire chief at the Yakima Fire Department in Yakima, Washington, and deputy fire chief at Yakima Fire District 12, according to the release.

According to the release, Schaeffer  has a master of leadership degree from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a bachelor of science degree in fire science from Sterling College in Kansas City, Missouri. He is also a graduate of Freeburg High School in Freeburg, Illinois. 

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Ryan Shiner


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