TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – Twin Falls has a new fire chief.

The City Council on Monday approved the city manager’s recommendation to appoint Les Kenworthy as the new chief for the Twin Falls Fire Department.

The city has “gone to great lengths to find Les” in a process that took several months, City Manager Travis Rothweiler told the council, noting he was impressed with Kenworthy's resolve to find out as much he could about the city.

“When Les presented before the board, he shared part of his experience with us, and part of that was what he did to research the city of Twin Falls," Rothweiler said. "He spent a great time trying to understand us and trying to understand our needs. ... He is probably by far the most prepared candidate that we’ve brought forward."

Kenworthy, who was born and raised in the Seattle area and most recently served as deputy chief of the Mercer Island Fire Department, was selected from a pool of 32 applicants from 17 states.

Councilman Greg Lanting, who sat in on one of the interviews with the top five candidates, said Kenworthy “quickly rose to the top.”

Councilwoman Nikki Boyd said she believed Kenworthy to be a “very gracious leader.”

Kenworthy responded to the council, saying: “my goal is to exceed and hopefully go above and beyond your expectations.”

His appointment was approved 7-0.

The new chief has been working as a firefighter since 1977. He has been married to his wife, Julia, for 36 years and has two adult children and two grandchildren.

“Thank you, Chief,” Mayor Shawn Barigar said. “We look forward to working with you very closely.”