SAVANNAH — Following a national search and evaluation process, Savannah City Manager Joseph A. Melder is appointing Elzie Kitchen as Savannah’s Fire Chief. Kitchen has served as interim Fire Chief since July 2, 2022.
Kitchen will be sworn in at a ceremony on Wednesday.
“Chief Kitchen is a servant leader committed to the City of Savannah’s vision of our City being safe for all Savannahians,” said City Manager Melder. “He has my confidence and trust, along with the respect of Savannah Fire, and the support of the Savannah community. Chief Kitchen embraces a collaborative approach to leadership and is focused on continuing Savannah Fire’s ability to save lives through investing in basic life support training. In addition, Chief Kitchen is committed to developing leaders from within our ranks, investing in Team Savannah, and giving everyone the opportunity to thrive.”
A Johnson High School graduate and Savannah resident since 1977, Kitchen originally joined the city’s Water Department in 1997 and has served the Savannah Fire Department since 1998. He holds master’s degrees in emergency services management, public administration, and organizational leadership from Columbia Southern and Waldorf Universities and was recently awarded the designation of Chief Fire Officer from the Center for Public Safety Excellence.
“Being selected as the City of Savannah’s Fire Chief is truly an honor,” said Chief Elzie Kitchen. “There are a lot of good leaders in Savannah. I believe promoting from within gives employees a goal to work toward and allows them to see there are opportunities for career advancement while fostering a deep sense of loyalty and stability. My selection shows other City employees that you can start in an entry-level position and make it to the top of a department.”
Kitchen’s appointment is effective immediately.