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Fire Chief

Location:  City of Austin, TX Download:  City of Austin, TX - Fire Chief Brochure

Fire Chief
City of Austin, TX

About Austin, Texas

This vibrant and dynamic city tops numerous lists for business, entertainment, and quality of life. One of the country’s most popular, high-profile, and “green” cities, Austin was selected as the “Best City for the Next Decade” (Kiplinger), the “Top Creative Center” in the United States (, #1 on the “On Numbers Economic Index” as the fastest growing economy, and #9 on Forbes’ list of “America’s Best Employers”, making the City of Austin the highest-ranking employer in the government services sector. Austin continues to lead the country with its vision of being the “Most livable city in the country”, emerging as a player on the international scene with such events as SXSW, Austin City Limits, and Formula 1, as well as being home to companies such as Apple, Samsung, Dell, Seton Healthcare , and St. David’s Healthcare. From the seat of state government and institutions of higher education to the “Live Music Capital of the World” and its growth as a film center, Austin has gained worldwide attention as a hub for education, business, health, and sustainability. Since 1900, Austin’s population has doubled every 20 years. 

Austin City Government

The City of Austin is a progressive, dynamic, full-service municipal organization operating under the Council-Manager form of government. Austin’s mayor is elected from the city at large and 10 council members are elected from single-member districts. Terms of the mayor and council members are four years and are staggered so that a general election is held every two years with half the council being chosen from each election. Term limits for the mayor and council members provide for two consecutive, four-year terms. The City Council is responsible for appointing the City Manager, (the Chief Administrative and Executive Officer of the city), as well as the City Clerk, City Auditor, Municipal Court Judges, and Municipal Court Clerk. 

The Mayor, Council Members, and City Manager are committed to delivering the highest quality services in the most cost-effective manner. The vision is to make Austin the most livable and best-managed city in the country. 

The Austin Fire Department

The Austin Fire Department (AFD) is the 16th largest fire department in the country, providing prevention, preparedness, and effective emergency response to more than 947,000 citizens in a 271 square mile area, with 1,151 authorized sworn firefighter positions and 106 civilian staff members. Like most fire departments, AFD is responsible for providing a multitude of services, including operations, aircraft firefighting and rescue, communications, maintenance shops, medical operations, emergency prevention, arson investigations, professional standards, community outreach, safety, special operations, and educational services. They receive more than 85,000 calls a year; approximately 70 percent of those are medical in nature. The City of Austin operates a separate EMS Department.

“Our Mission Goes Beyond Our Name” is the cornerstone of the Austin Fire Department. Known as a leader in the fire service, AFD is on the cutting-edge of technology and training. 

Our rank structure is as follows: Firefighter, Fire Specialist, Lieutenant, Captain, Battalion Chief, Division Chief, Assistant Chief, and Fire Chief. A Fire Cadet is an individual currently in the 28-week fire training academy. All cadets must pass both the state-administered Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Firefighter certified exam before graduating from the academy. After graduation, an individual becomes a probationary firefighter for six months.

The Position

The Fire Chief directs, plans, and coordinates the activities of the Department and serves as the administrative head under the direction of the City Manager, reporting to the Assistant City Manager over Public Safety. 

Duties, Functions and Responsibilities:

Essential duties and functions, pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, may include the following (other related duties may be assigned):

  • Leads the City's efforts in the preservation of life and property relative to fire prevention;
  • Leads the City's community fire prevention and suppression efforts;
  • Coordinates and administers daily fire activities through subordinates;
  • Oversees the development and implementation of administrative policy, services, and staffing levels; monitors and evaluates the efficiency and effectiveness of methods and procedures;
  • Oversees the direct support of firefighter recruiting;
  • Serves as lead administrator for all AFD employees (sworn and civilian);
  • Participates in corporate initiatives for quality improvement processes and customer services initiatives within the Department;
  • Works with community and business leaders to develop partnerships;
  • Uses innovative outreach approaches to maintain and build community partnerships within a multi-ethnic and multi­cultural environment;
  • Maximizes citizen support for the Department and involvement in its programs;
  • Coordinates multi-agency response activities with other related organizations and agencies;
  • Develops departmental programs to implement the City’s management plan;
  • Increases quality of service through training, recruiting, and instilling customer services values among employees;
  • Develops cooperative relationships with other City departments to foster service delivery improvements and problem-solving initiatives; and
  • Responsible for the full range of supervisory activities including selection, training, evaluation, counseling, and recommendation for dismissal. 

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Knowledge of federal, state, and city rules and regulations governing firefighting functions.
  • Knowledge of local, state, and federal law and city ordinances.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of and first-hand experience in all major aspects of fire operations.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of administrative functions and budgetary responsibilities for a medium- to large-sized metropolitan fire department.
  • Knowledge of emergency medical operations, particularly first responder services.
  • Knowledge of the regional area’s geography, fire hazards, and of codes related to fire safety.
  • Knowledge of and experience with the collective bargaining process, labor negotiations, and civil service law.
  • Ability to develop, implement, and administer goals, objectives, and procedures for providing effective and efficient services for the City of Austin and surrounding area(s) as appropriate.
  • Ability to work in and with a highly diverse community.
  • Ability to coach, train, mentor, and discipline subordinates.
  • Must have an open-door policy for all department members and remain approachable. 

Education and Experience

Qualified candidates must have a Bachelor's degree in Fire Science or a related field, plus a minimum of five (5) years’ of progressively responsible work in fire management in a large city and/or county government structure, two (2) of which must be in a senior command level. A Master’s degree and graduation from the Executive Fire Officer (EFO) program is preferred. 

Required Licenses and Certifications

Certification by the Commission on Fire Protection Standards at the intermediate level or its equivalent as determined by the Commission. 

An individual appointed head of a department must be eligible to be certified at the time of the appointment or will become eligible to be certified within one year of the appointment as defined by the Texas Commission on Fire Protection Standards. 

The Ideal Candidate 

The ideal candidate should have extensive first-hand experience in operations, fire prevention, safety, education, emergency prevention, arson, investigations, community outreach, and recruitment. Fiscal and budget management experience is essential. 

The ideal candidate should possess visionary leadership and display excellent managerial ability, strategic planning, and decision-making skills. He/she must exhibit strong relationship-building skills with both the sworn and civilian employees of AFD, the City Manager, City Council, department directors, and the community. It is essential that the incoming Chief has experience working in a unionized environment, and has had proven, documented success in establishing collaborative, diplomatic working relations with labor and employee associations. 

Effective communication, and strong collaboration, negotiation, and team-building skills are necessary for this individual to be successful; advanced written and oral communication skills are imperative. The ability to make organizational changes that improve the operational effectiveness of the department is desired.  This individual must adhere to the highest ethical and moral standards, and display transparency in all deeds and actions. 


The City of Austin offers a competitive salary and extensive benefits (including a generous pension system) commensurate with experience.  Relocation assistance is available for a successful “out of the area” candidate. 

How to Apply

Please forward a cover letter and resume to:
Reference: COAFC

Affion Public
2120 Market Street, Suite 100
Camp Hill, PA 17011
Fax: 717.214.8004 

The City of Austin is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.  


**The deadline to receive resumes is: August 03, 2018**

Posted: 03/22/2022