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Fire Chief

Location:  City of San Antonio, TX Download:  City of San Antonio, TX - Fire Chief - Brochure

About San Antonio 

The City of San Antonio is the nation’s 7th largest city and is home to more than 1.5 million residents, covers 505 square miles and is located in South Central Texas, approximately 140 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, San Antonio offers its residents one of the most attractive and affordable lifestyles in the country. Residents enjoy one of the lowest tax rates in the state as well as a plentiful supply of high-quality housing and low utility rates. The economy of San Antonio is an excellent mix of business services, manufacturing, health care, communications, corporate and regional offices, government, and the convention and tourism industry. 

San Antonio is also home to one of the largest concentrations of military bases in the United States. One of the nation's fastest growing cities, San Antonio is rich in recreational and cultural opportunities with over 15,000 acres of public parks and 150 miles of trails, over 50 museums and galleries, and home to the 5-time champion San Antonio Spurs. The Historic San Antonio Missions are Texas’ only UNESCO World Heritage site and is a UNESCO designated Creative City of Gastronomy. 

City Government 

San Antonio has a Council-Manager form of government with an eleven-member City Council. Councilmembers are elected by District, while the Mayor is elected at-large. The term of office for the Mayor and all members of the City are two-year terms, for not more than four (4) full terms of office. The City Council appoints the City Manager, who appoints all officials in executive positions with the exception of the City Clerk, City Auditor, Presiding Judge, and Municipal Judges. 

The City of San Antonio has been recognized for its high level of professional management by the ICMA and National Civic League, amongst others. For ten consecutive years, the City has maintained a AAA bond rating. The Fiscal Year 2024 adopted operating budget is $3.7 billion with close to 13,000 employees across approximately 40 departments. The City has made a commitment to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion, primarily through the formation of a citywide Office of Equity in 2017, which was transformed into the Department of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) in 2022. 

SAFD Fire Department 

The San Antonio Fire Department (SAFD) plays a significant role in community safety with a $374 million annual budget and over 1,900 employees. The Department is the 2nd largest metro city that holds both an international accreditation and an Insurance Services Office (ISO) class 1 rating. The Department currently staffs 54 engines, 21 ladder trucks, 43 ambulances, 2 technical rescue teams, 2 hazardous materials teams, and an airport rescue division within the 54 fire stations. SAFD Firefighters are covered by a collective bargaining agreement between the City of San Antonio and Local 624 International Association of Firefighters. 

The services provided by the Department include fire suppression, emergency medical services, emergency management, and rescue services. The Department conducts inspections for building safety, issues permits, investigates fires of suspicious nature, maintains firefighting apparatus and equipment, receives and dispatches calls for fire and medical services, trains departmental personnel, conducts community education, and coordinates the homeland security/emergency preparedness efforts of the City. 

In 2022, the Department responded to a total of 240,796 emergencies including 6,173 fire calls, 192,226 emergency medical services calls, 1,066 hazardous material calls, 482 technical rescue calls and 40,849 miscellaneous/other calls. Servicing these calls resulted in 445,974 unit movements including 69,984 EMS transports. 

The San Antonio Fire Department is an all-hazards response agency that has employed innovative strategies to move forward to the future and provide services to the public more efficiently and effectively. Initiatives implemented by the Department to keep up with increased demand for services and continuous process improvement include the Mobile Integrated Health, Hero Like Her recruitment program, Clinical Dispatch, Whole Blood Initiative, and the Medical Special Operations Unit. 

The SAFD has a variety of divisions that serve the residents of San Antonio.

·        The Communications Division provides medical and fire dispatch for emergency calls. 

·        Emergency Medical Services (EMS) responds to medical emergencies.  All units have certified paramedics. 

·        The Firefighting Division provides fire protection, rescue services, and medical first responder service.

·        The Fire Prevention Division enforces fire codes to keep residents safe.  The division includes public outreach and public education with the FireSafeSA Program.

·        The Training Division manages the Fire Cadet Training Program and provides continuing education for all SAFD Firefighters.

·        Public Information Office (PIO) provides information to the public and media about SAFD incidents and activities.

·        The Services and Logistics Division ensures that all San Antonio Fire Department Apparatuses are at a readily state to respond to any emergencies.

·        Health and Wellness fosters the Department’s goal of ‘personnel resiliency’. Medical examinations are designed to detect any serious medical conditions and educate employees on: health improvement, injury prevention, injury treatment and rehabilitation, emotional and spiritual wellbeing and physical fitness. The Department also implemented a cancer prevention initiative for firefighters.

Our Mission Statement

To provide the highest level of professional service to the public by protecting lives, property, and the environment while providing life safety community education. To safely prevent harm through caring service. 

Our Vision

To be a service driven, nationally recognized leader in providing emergency services with exceptional leadership, open communication, state-of-the-art resources, and a healthy, highly trained, and motivated workforce. 

Our Core Values

We believe in conducting ourselves with integrity, honesty, concern and respect for each other and the public. We have a high regard for teamwork and esprit de corps and possess a strong commitment to serving with pride and professionalism while honoring the noble traditions of the fire service. 

The Position 

The Fire Chief reports to the Deputy City Manager, and is responsible for planning, directing, managing, and overseeing the activities and operations of the Fire Department, including fire prevention, emergency medical service, emergency management, and general administration. The Fire Chief coordinates complex assignments and projects with outside agencies, other City departments, and the City Managers Office. Exercises direct supervision over staff. 

Essential Job Functions

·        Assumes full management responsibility for all department services and activities, including the administration of the communications, emergency management, emergency medical service, and fire prevention divisions; and recommends and administers policies and procedures.

·        Manages the development and implementation of department goals, objectives, policies, and priorities for each assigned service area; establishes, within City policy, appropriate service and staffing levels; and allocates resources accordingly.

·        Monitors and evaluates the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery methods and procedures; assesses and monitors workload, administrative and support systems, and internal reporting relationships; and identifies opportunities for improvement, and directs the implementation of changes.

·        Acts as official departmental representative to other City departments, City Manager's Office, elected officials, and outside agencies; explains, justifies, and defends department programs, policies, and activities; and negotiates and resolves sensitive, significant, and controversial issues.

·        Selects, motivates, and evaluates department staff; provides or coordinates training and works with employees to correct deficiencies; and implements and administers disciplinary and termination procedures.

·        Plans, directs, and coordinates, through subordinate-level staff, the department work plan; meets with management staff to identify and resolve problems; assigns projects and programmatic areas of responsibility; and reviews and evaluates work methods and procedures.

·        Manages and participates in the development and administration of the department budget; estimates funds needed for staffing, equipment, materials, and supplies; directs the monitoring and approval of expenditures; and directs the preparation and implementation of budgetary adjustments as necessary.

·        Coordinates departmental activities with those of other departments and outside agencies and organizations; provides staff assistance to the City Manager, Deputy City Manager, Assistant City Managers, and City Council; and prepares and presents staff reports and other necessary communications.

·        Responds to and resolves sensitive inquiries and complaints from both internal and external sources.

·        Attends City Council meetings and takes necessary action regarding Council agenda items.

·        Develops and implements department safety and training programs; establishes programs that limit the severity and number of on-the-job injuries and accidents.

·        Provides staff support to boards and commissions; attends and participates in professional group meetings; and stays abreast of new trends and innovations in the field of fire science.

·        Responds to major alarms and natural or human-made disasters; personally directs fire suppression and other emergency service activities as necessary.

·        Directs and oversees the administration of the collective bargaining agreement; maintains liaison with labor representatives; ensures maintenance of management rights.

·        Directs and participates in the research of alternative approaches to fire suppression, hazardous material handling, fire and life safety codes, and emergency programs. 

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

·        Knowledge of operational characteristics, services, and activities of fire prevention and suppression programs.

·        Knowledge of organizational and management practices as applied to the analysis and evaluation of programs, policies, and operational needs.

·        Knowledge of advanced principles and practices of municipal budget preparation and administration.

·        Knowledge of principles of supervision, training, and performance evaluation.

·        Knowledge of organization, function, and authority of various City departments.

·        Knowledge of operation, maintenance, and uses of fire fighting apparatus and equipment.

·        Knowledge of pertinent Federal, State, and local laws, codes, and regulations including the Uniform Fire Code and Insurance Services Office (ISO) grading schedule.

·        Knowledge of Federal, State, and local laws related to safety, DOT, workers' compensation, liability, regulations and standards.

·        Knowledge of basic factors that cause accidents and incident command theory.

·        Ability to develop, implement, and administer goals, objectives, and procedures for providing effective and efficient fire suppression and prevention services for the City

·        Ability to analyze problems, identify alternative solutions, project consequences of proposed actions, and implement recommendations in support of established goals.

·        Ability to identify and respond to community and City Council issues, concerns, and needs.

·        Ability to prepare and administer a complex departmental budget and allocate limited resources in a cost-effective manner.

·        Ability to provide administrative and professional leadership and direction to subordinate staff.

·        Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with City staff and officials, other government officials, community groups, the general public, and media representatives.

·        Ability to plan, direct, and review fire suppression, fire and safety code compliance, emergency medical service, and hazardous materials emergency services.

·        Ability to respond rapidly and effectively in emergencies.

·        Ability to evaluate options for accident prevention. 

Education & Experience 

Qualified candidates will have a Bachelor's Degree from an accredited college in Fire Science, Public Administration, or a closely related field, in addition to ten (10) years of increasingly responsible professional experience in municipal firefighting, including five (5) years of senior command, administrative, or supervisory responsibility.  An equivalent combination of education and experience will be considered. 

Ideal Candidate 

The ideal candidate for this role will possess experience in operations, fire prevention, safety, education, emergency prevention, arson investigations, community outreach, and recruitment. Additionally, a solid background in fiscal management and budget oversight is essential. 

We are seeking a visionary leader with exceptional managerial capabilities, strategic planning expertise, and strong decision-making skills. The ideal candidate should be a strong leader who demonstrates adeptness in developing relationships with both sworn and civilian personnel within SAFD, as well as with the City Manager, City Council, department directors, and the community. Experience in navigating unionized environments and a track record of fostering collaborative relationships with labor and employee associations are crucial. 

Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, are paramount, along with a demonstrated ability to collaborate, negotiate, and build cohesive teams. The ideal candidate should possess a proven ability to implement organizational changes that enhance the operational efficiency of the department. Critical skills to include integrity, transparency, and adherence to the highest ethical standards are essential qualities of this role. 


The City of San Antonio is offering a competitive salary commensurate with experience. The City offers generous benefits and retirement including annual and personal leave; monthly car allowances, deferred compensation plan, relocation/moving expenses and participation in the Texas Municipal Retirement System (TMRS). 

How to Apply 

Interested applicants should forward a cover letter and resume to:
Reference: SAFC 

Affion Public
PO Box 794
Hershey, PA 17033

*The deadline to receive resumes is March 30, 2024* 

The City of San Antonio is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer. 


Posted: 02/21/2024