Former Kannapolis Fire Chief Rick Bernhardt Has Passed Away.
We offer our deepest condolences to the family of Former Kannapolis Fire Chief Rick Barnhardt.
Chief Barnhardt passed away this past week at his home of natural causes. He retired from the department in March 2020 after a long tenure with the Kannapolis Fire Department.
Rick had been with the Kannapolis Fire Department for 30 years. He had worked his way up the ranks in the department starting as a volunteer firefighter, at age 16, with the Royal Oaks Fire Department. Royal Oaks Fire Department later became part of the Kannapolis Fire Department and is now Kannapolis Station Three. He worked with the Salisbury Fire Department from 1992 until 1997, when he was hired as one of the first full-time firefighters for the Kannapolis Fire Department. Barnhardt was promoted to Captain in 2000, Battalion Chief in 2006, Division Chief in 2007 and Fire Chief in 2019.
“Rick was a valued friend and work colleague. He was an integral part of our fire family and will be greatly missed. During his career with the department he was important to our success as we transitioned from a volunteer staff to a paid staff, grew our stations and took on the responsibilities of medical first responders. We offer our sympathies to his wife, Kim, his children and extended family,” commented Kannapolis Fire Chief Tracy Winecoff.