May 17, 2006 - Robert E. Key was sworn
in today as the City of Knoxville's Fire Chief in a ceremony conducted
by Mayor Bill Haslam at the Fire Department's downtown headquarters.
Key, 58, was promoted to chief of the 300-firefighter department
after a 30-year career that included holding the positions of senior
firefighter, master firefighter and fire officer before being named
an assistant chief in 1998. In that position, he oversaw all firefighting,
emergency operations and administrative duties for five stations.
is a Fulton High School graduate and served in the U.S. Army. He
and his wife, June, have three grown children.
The Knoxville Fire Department traces its roots to 1885 when it
evolved from a volunteer department to one staffed full-time with
paid firefighters. Today, the department provides fire protection,
first-response and other services to a 100-square mile area with
an annual budget of $28.2 million.