Dennis McKone, a 39-year veteran of the Salt Lake City Fire Department, has been appointed by Mayor Rocky Anderson to serve as acting fire chief.

McKone will replace Charles Querry, who is resigning Aug. 31 to become program manager at the Utah Fire and Rescue Academy.

"I am excited to work with Denny in his new capacity as acting Salt Lake City fire chief," Anderson said. "Denny's tremendous past service and experience will benefit city government and all residents enormously as he assumes his new role."

McKone has worked for the past seven years as assistant fire chief. He was born in Salt Lake City and lives in Rose Park.

Anderson praised Querry's contributions to the department. During his tenure, the department opened Fire Station No. 9 at the International Center on the city's west side, which meant a four-minute decrease in response time to calls from the area. Querry also pushed for two new paramedic engines that produced an estimated 20 percent reduction in the response time to life-support calls.

Querry also created the Heavy Rescue Team for special rescue situations and enhanced its abilities to handle hazardous materials.