David Jones named Keller fire chief

Posted Monday, Jan. 21, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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KELLER - Keller Fire Department begins the new year with a new chief.

After four months serving in an interim role, Keller officials removed David Jones "interim" tag during a Jan. 15 council meeting.

Jones was named interim fire chief in August after the resignation of Chief Dan Gaumont.

"Chief Jones improved the flow of communications and has led by example time and time again," said Mark Hafner, police chief and director of public safety. "He has always been responsive, open minded and has exceeded my expectations during those four months. Compared with other fire chiefs I have worked with in my career, I find him very willing to think outside of traditional processes and be very receptive to change."

Hafner said the recommendation did not come lightly and was the result of a rigorous process involving interviews with staff, witnessing Jones in his role as interim chief and conducting a staff survey with specific questions about the department during Jones role as interim chief.

Hafner said 54 out of 58 employees responded to the survey.

"The results were encouraging as it showed overwhelming agreement that communication, direction and leadership has improved within the organization since he assumed the role as interim fire chief," Hafner said. "Only one respondent disagreed that communication and leadership has not improved ... That's remarkable, that in four months he was able to change that around so quickly."

Hafner also said that other firefighters continuously pointed out to him that if Jones were made permanent chief, he would be the first Keller fire chief in more than 24 years that has worked his entire career in the city and has done every job within the department.

"David Jones began his career 24 years ago. He's a home boy, he graduated from Keller High School," Hafner said. "He successfully moved through the ranks and held every position in the department."

Certifications for Jones include master firefighter, master fire instructor and master inspector. Jones has worked as a firefighter, paramedic, fire lieutenant and fire captain before being promoted to a battalion chief in 2009.

"He will also be the first fire chief with an EMS background," Hafner said. "He drove the ambulance. He's done the work. He's done everything that he is asking his people to do."

City Manager Steve Polasek said he is impressed with Jones' intelligence, demeanor, openness and his ability to think outside of the box.

"He cares for his fellow employees and above all he cares about this community," Polasek said.

Jones said he is humbled by the support he has received from within the organization, city staff and from the community.

"I am very excited about this opportunity and to serve the city of Keller, to serve our firefighters and the citizens," he said.

Susan McFarland, 817-431-2231

Twitter: @susanmcfarland1

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