Mayor Jackie Biskupski names veteran firefighter and administrator Karl Lieb new Salt Lake City Fire Chief

Today, Mayor Jackie Biskupski announced the appointment of Karl Lieb as Fire Chief of Salt Lake City.

 The appointment is subject to the advice and consent of the City Council.

Chief Lieb was appointed interim chief in October, upon the retirement of Chief Brian Dale. He is responsible for the operational readiness and capability of the department’s response companies. Formerly serving as deputy chief, a district battalion chief, station captain, and a hazardous materials technician, Chief Lieb brings 21 years of experience with the Salt Lake City Fire Department to the position.

“I’m confident that Chief Lieb’s extensive record of service and leadership has prepared him to lead our Fire Department into the future,” Mayor Biskupski said. “He is committed to the safety of all who live and work in Salt Lake City, as well as to those who put their lives on the line each day as firefighters. I’ve also been impressed with Chief Lieb’s involvement in reaching out to youth with progressive career mentorship programs.”

One such program is Camp Athena, the first of its kind in Salt Lake City. The daylong camp is designed to inspire young women and introduce them to fire service careers. In collaboration with the department and YWCA, Chief Lieb worked to develop the format, curriculum and goals of the fire education initiative. Likewise, Camp Prometheus is a program for young men from underserved communities, which introduces them to the possibility of a firefighting career.

“As Salt Lake City grows, I want us to evolve deeper as a service organization – beyond the view of us just shooting water out of a hose,” Chief Lieb said. “With increased community outreach, teachings and trainings, I’m committed to diversifying our workforce to represent the communities we serve.”

Chief Lieb is particularly interested in building morale among the firefighting ranks. As interim chief, he spearheaded the effort to redesign the department’s uniform patch. Responding to requests from his team for a more traditional design, Chief Lieb said the department is currently transitioning to the “new” patch and logo, whose design harkens back to earlier days of the department.

The Salt Lake City Fire Department employs more than 300 people across 14 fire stations, and is on the front lines of fire education, prevention, sustainability, and active community engagement. 

With a commission in the United States Air Force and POST certification from the State of Montana Highway Patrol Academy, Chief Lieb has extensive experience in public safety from federal to municipal levels. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology from the University of Minnesota, an MPA from the University of Utah, and an Executive Fire Officer certificate from the National Fire Academy.

A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, Chief Lieb enjoys reading and a variety of sports including hiking, biking, and snowboarding. He lives in Bountiful with his wife and three children.