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posted on 6/26/24

Eddie Saffell has dedicated his life to service, community, and leadership, earning him the title of the 2024 Citizen of the Year of Grain Valley - an award recognized by Mayor Mike Todd through the Truman Heartland Community Foundation.

Eddie’s professional journey in the fire service spans over 40 years. He began as a volunteer in Cass County in November 1980 and joined the Central Jackson County Fire Protection District (CJC) in January 1991. Over three decades at CJC, Eddie advanced from Fire Inspector to Deputy Chief, a position he held for four years until his retirement in September 2020. Since February 2022, Eddie has served as a building inspector for the City of Grain Valley, continuing his commitment to public service. He also chaired the City of Grain Valley Workplace Improvement Committee for two years, demonstrating his leadership and dedication to enhancing workplace culture.

Eddie’s contributions to the community are extensive and impactful. He served on the Grain Valley School District Board of Education for 12 years, with six of those years as President. His involvement with the Grain Valley Chamber of Commerce spanned six years, where he served as President and an active member. Eddie also dedicated time to the fair committee for seven years, the Truman Heartland Community Foundation (THCF) Grain Valley/Blue Springs Advisory Board, and the THCF Scholarship Committee for five years - evaluating scholarship applications for high school and college students. Additionally, Eddie was a member of the Blue Springs “Mayor’s Community Prayer Breakfast” committee for five years, reflecting his commitment to fostering community mentorship.

Eddie holds a Graduate Degree in Public Administration and Urban Planning from UMKC and a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration from Park University. His passions extend beyond his professional life to include family time and outdoor recreation.

Eddie has been married to his wife, Debbie, for 33 years. They have one daughter, Ashley married to Andrew, and are proud grandparents to two elementary school-age grandchildren, Henry and Natalie. Eddie and Debbie are season ticket holders to KC Current and Sporting KC soccer clubs, Starlight Theatre, and Powell Gardens.

Eddie Saffell embodies the spirit of service, leadership, and dedication, making him a deserving recipient of the Citizen of the Year award. His unwavering commitment to his family, profession, and community has left a mark on Grain Valley, inspiring all who know him.