116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Tom Fagan has lived in the Kansas City area his entire life, but in September he’ll be starting a job as the new Marion fire chief.
Fagan said he was looking for new opportunities that would benefit his family, and when he heard about the job opening in Marion, it seemed like a perfect fit.
“Our family visited Marion right after the advertisement was posted, to learn more about the community three-dimensionally, not just through a computer screen, and it was really great. The kids were excited. You could just feel the excitement in the community,” Fagan said. “We went through the Uptown Artway, got to see the tremendous art that’s there, and even art that’s distributed across the community. It’s just something that really connected with us.”
Fagan and his wife, Tara Fagan, have two kids, ages 14 and 11. Tara Fagan is an ultrasound technologist and will be looking for a job in the area.
“My family has been super supportive. They’re very excited about this next chapter in our life, and we’re really excited to join the Marion community,” Fagan said.
Fagan, 42, has 22 years of experience as a firefighter and is the division chief of administration for the Lawrence-Douglas (Kan.) County Fire Medical Department. He holds a master’s degree in management, strategy and leadership from Michigan State University, a bachelor’s degree in human resources from Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kan., and an associate degree in fire science technology from Blue River Community College in Independence, Mo.
He didn’t always want to be a firefighter, even though he grew up exposed to the profession as that was his dad’s job. As a kid, Fagan, inspired by his favorite movie “Top Gun,” used to say that he wanted to be a fighter pilot.
In high school, Fagan worked as a lifeguard and a CPR instructor. He also was a high school athlete, and his love of sports has stayed with him.
“Our family is big Kansas City sports fans. We love the Chiefs, the Royals … I did go to Michigan State, so we are Spartan fans, but we’ll definitely, of course, support Iowa unless they’re playing the Spartans,” he said.
When Fagan was getting close to graduating high school and trying to decide on a career, the idea of having a team, like the sports teams he had in high school, really appealed to him.
“One of the things that was calling to me was, how can I be involved in a team working toward a shared goal in my career? Obviously, talking to my dad and my family about it, the fire service was something that was out there,” Fagan said. “I thought I would try it, to see. So, I started to take classes at a local college and as soon as I started, it really was a great fit for me. I love the camaraderie, the team concept and working together to accomplish tasks and goals.”
Since then, Fagan has continued to educate himself, both in school settings and on the job. After growing up in Lenexa, Kan., he started his professional career in Lee’s Summit, Mo., and for the last five years he’s been working in Lawrence, Kan.
“One of the biggest things that I’ve learned over my career is to be a good listener. I’m really interested to listen to the firefighters, listen to the community, and see where and how the Marion Fire Department can better serve the community,” he said.
He is set to start in his new role Sept. 30.
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