Furgerson to Retire from Joplin Fire Chief Position

(Joplin, MO) – Joplin City Manager Nick Edwards announced the retirement of Joplin Fire Chief Jim Furgerson, effective June 7. 2021. Following his retirement from Joplin Furgerson has accepted a position with Missouri’s State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).

“We thank Chief Furgerson for his years of service here at the City of Joplin,” said Edwards. “The Fire Department has accomplished a great deal under his leadership. His career spans several milestones within the community. He worked for ongoing recruitment and retention of public safety staff through Proposition B passage, initiated a strategic planning and resource allocation study, replaced outdated equipment, developed the initial plans for Station 7, established a swift water rescue team, and formed automatic aid agreements with surrounding communities’ fire departments. His work helped the department achieve a strong ISO rating that benefits our residents and businesses. His proactive approach helped to ensure that the citizens of Joplin are served by a well-equipped and well-trained Fire Department into the future.”

The Insurance Services Office (ISO) conducts a hazard risk analysis of a fire department to provide information to insurance companies nationwide that details a fire department’s capability in helping to prevent a fire from happening, as well as, their ability to minimize damage should one occur. Joplin Fire Department received a “2” rating in 2016, which is one point better than previous years. This also moved Joplin into a select group of fire departments in Missouri, with approximately 20 stations having this low rating at that time.

Furgerson has been with the City for 20 years and became Chief in 2015. After joining the department in 2001, he was promoted to Driver in 2004, and was named Captain in 2006. He was promoted to Battalion Chief in 2010 and Deputy Fire Chief in 2014.

“He has served Joplin well, both within the department and in the community during his service here. We wish him well in the next phase of his life,” said Edwards.

Edwards and Furgerson will work on transition plans and name an interim fire chief in the upcoming weeks.  The City will begin a search process for the permanent replacement at a later date.


Lynn Onstot, Public Information Officer
City of Joplin
417.624.0820, ext. 204

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