GRAPEVINE After nearly half a century in public service, Fire Chief Steve Bass has formally announced his retirement — effective Aug. 31.
Bass came to Grapevine in August 2005, bringing nearly four decades of experience in fire and emergency services from the cities of Bedford, Dallas and Hurst.
“I’m 64 years old and it’s time,” Bass told the Star-Telegram.
The fire chief has often been heralded by the City Council for his commitment to the city.
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On Jan. 7, when Bass asked the City Council to add three fire captain positions in its next fiscal year budget to focus on emergency medical services, they praised his presentation for its thoroughness.
Then as in the past, they lauded him for streamlining an ambulance transport system and accompanying fees that has bolstered city coffers.
Bass received his bachelor of applied business administration in fire management in 1995 from Dallas Baptist University. He also served in the Air Force Reserves for six years where he received his first taste of fire rescue training in the military.
He began his career with Hurst as a volunteer firefighter in 1966. The three-year volunteer position landed Bass his first paid role as a firefighter in Hurst from 1969 until 1972.
He then joined forces with Dallas Fire Department in 1972. He worked his way through all ranks and was promoted to deputy fire chief in 1991 where he remained for seven years before becoming fire chief in Bedford in 1998.
He remained in fire service with Bedford until moving to the deputy city manager’s position there in 2004.
Bass served in that role for a year before landing in Grapevine as fire chief in 2005.
According to Grapevine city officials, he was an integral part of the planning and design process for a new public safety building. On Nov. 6, 2012, voters approved a general obligation bond issue for the proposed sale of nearly $70 million in bonds for two projects. One was for the new public safety building and the other was for improvements to the city’s Community Activities Center.
Despite his input, when the new public safety building opens, Bass no longer will be at the helm of the department.
During his years of public service, Bass has served as a speaker, instructor and lecturer at numerous local, state and national fire service conferences and seminars in several states.
Bass and his wife Karen spend many hours volunteering and serving at Springdale Baptist Church in Fort Worth where he is the men’s minister.
Upon approval of the City Council, City Manager Bruno Rumbelow will appoint the fire chief’s successor. Rumbelow has tapped Deputy Fire Chief Darrell Brown as his top choice.
Brown has been with Grapevine for three years as deputy chief. Prior to coming to Grapevine, he worked for the Lewisville Fire Department.