Odle appointed state fire marshal
Basehor resident and City Council member Joe Odle will round out his 38-year career in fire service as the new state fire marshal.
On Jan. 30, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius announced four new appointments, including Odle's.
Odle, who has spent the past 10 years as a fire inspector in the marshal's office, said he was slightly surprised to receive the four-year appointment.
"Yeah, a little," he said. "I knew there were several people in the running, but the governor called and I was happy to accept it."
In his new position, Odle will be in charge of running an office that oversees most everything fire related, including investigations, inspections and fire safety codes.
"It's nothing I can't handle, and I have a few of my own ideas," he said.
Odle's predecessor, Gayle Haag, was state fire marshal for eight years, but Odle said it's premature to say whether he'll serve more than one term.
"At this point, it's probably a little too early to tell," he said.
Odle has served as a member of the Basehor City Council for the past eight years. His position is up for re-election April 1 and Odle is a candidate.
He said his new job won't change his mind to seek re-election.
"Not at this time, but I will re-evaluate the position (as candidate)," he said.
Odle also received praise from Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius when she announced her appointments.
"Joe has spent 38 years in fire service," Sebelius said. "Throughout his career he has served as a captain and president of Kansas City, Kan., Fire Department local 64, as president of the Kansas State Council of Fire Fighters and most recently as a fire inspector in the fire marshal's office.
"Finally, as an elected official, Joe is well aware of the important partnership between the state and local units of government on fire safety issues," she added.