Leadership

Fire Chief Vance SwisherVance Swisher, Fire Chief

Vance Swisher was appointed Fire Chief with the Ankeny Fire Department in 2023. He began his career with the Cedar Rapids IA Fire Department as a Fire Protection Engineer for four years before moving to the Rochester MN Fire Department.  In his 23 years of service with the Rochester Fire Department, Chief Swisher held the ranks of Fire Protection Specialist, Fire Marshal, and Deputy Fire Chief for the last 12 years.  Additionally, Chief Swisher volunteered with the Stewartville MN Fire Department for 19 years where he held the ranks of Firefighter-EMT, Lieutenant, Assistant Fire Chief, and Fire Chief for the last 9 years.  

Chief Swisher is a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and is designated as a Chief Fire Officer through the Center for Public Safety Excellence Professional Credentialing. Chief Swisher holds a B.S. in Fire Protection and Safety Technology and an M.S. in Fire and Emergency Management Administration, both from Oklahoma State University.


Deputy Chief Rob ChiappanoRob Chiappano -Deputy Chief

Rob Chiappano has been with the Ankeny Fire Department since 2006. He originally started as the Division Chief of Training and Safety and was promoted to Deputy Chief in 2008. Prior to coming to Ankeny, Rob spent approximately 15 years just outside the city of Chicago where he was a member of both a career full-time department, and a member of a combination department employing both part-time and full-time staff. He is a nationally certified paramedic and holds numerous certifications in firefighting, incident command, and hazardous materials. Rob was a tactical paramedic and operated on a multi-jurisdictional SWAT team for 8 years.

Rob is a member of the Iowa Professional Fire Chiefs Association, Polk County Fire Chiefs Association, and Central Iowa Emergency Medical Services Training and Operations Committee. He is also a certified instructor for the Iowa Fire Service Training Bureau and teaches classes at Des Moines Area Community College.


Deputy Chief Dan SchellhaseDan Schellhase

Deputy Chief, Public Information Officer

Daniel Schellhase began his career with the Ankeny Fire Department as a paid-on-call member in 2005 as a Firefighter / Paramedic. He was promoted to the ranks of Fire Engineer, Fire Lieutenant, Training Officer, and Division Chief of Training before being appointed as Deputy Chief in 2023. Deputy Chief Schellhase is a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and is designated as a Chief Fire Officer through the Center for Public Safety Excellence Professional Credentialing. Chief Schellhase holds an A.S. in Fire Science from Des Moines Area Community College, a B.S. in Fire Science Administration from Waldorf University, and an M.A. in Organizational Leadership from Waldorf University.

Deputy Chief Schellhase is a Nationally Registered Paramedic and holds numerous certifications in firefighting, incident command, and hazardous materials. Chief Schellhase is also a member of the Iowa Professional Fire Chief's Association, Polk County (Iowa) Fire Chief's Association, Fire Department's Safety Officer Association, Iowa Emergency Medical Services Association, and Central Iowa Emergency Medical Services Directors Training Committee.


Adam Vander LeestDivision Chief Adam VanderLeest

Division Chief - Training and Safety

Adam Vander Leest has been with the City of Ankeny since 2009. He started as a firefighter/paramedic and was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in 2017. In 2018 with the creation of shift commanders he was promoted to the rank of Captain to fill one of the new positions. Prior to Ankeny, he had worked for the Polk City Fire Department and held the rank of Assistant Chief. In January 2022, Adam was promoted to the rank of Division Chief Community Risk Reduction / Fire Marshal.

Chief Vander Leest has an associate of arts degree in aviation management from Iowa Central Community College and is a commercially rated pilot. Chief Vander Leest also holds a bachelor of science degree in Fire Science Administration from Waldorf University. Chief Vander Leest is a nationally registered paramedic, arson investigator, and Inspector I and II and has numerous certifications in firefighting. Chief Vander Leest will supervise all fire investigations within the city to determine the cause and origin. As the Fire Marshal, he will supervise public education, community safety awareness programs, fire education for elementary-age children as well as safety programs for young adults and seniors. Chief Vander Leest supervises inspectors and fire and life safety inspections throughout the city for all licensed and unlicensed facilities. As Fire Marshal, he functions under the supervision of the Fire Chief as the Fire Code Official for the City of Ankeny.