The Fort Worth Fire Department underwent the official changing of the guard on Oct. 16 when new Fire Chief James Davis was confirmed with a resolution at the City Council meeting.
“I stand before you before very humbled,” Davis told the council and the audience. “The men and the women of the Fort Worth Fire Department do a great job every day.”
Rudy Jackson, who retired in February after 35 years including the last 11 as fire chief, presented a ceremonial helmet to Davis.
“I have the privilege to take this organization and see what’s going to happen next, to the next level, I hope,” Davis said.
In a letter to city staff earlier in the day, Mayor Betsy Price wrote: “Please join myself, city council and City Manager David Cooke in welcoming our new fire chief, James ‘Jim’ Davis.
“Jim has hit the ground running by visiting fire stations, getting involved in our community and meeting with city leadership and departments. Given his strong background in public health and community engagement, I am confident Jim will be a great leader for our world-class fire department and play an instrumental role in moving the city’s mission forward.
“Join me in welcoming Chief Davis to our Fort Worth family with a traditional ‘howdy.’”
As part of the letter, Cooke wrote, “I am confident that we have found the right person for the job. Jim has the right mix of experience and enthusiasm to help our fire department continue to excel. His strong background in training and emergency response will be invaluable assets to our department and our city.”
Davis is only the 14th chief to lead the department over the past 125 years. He comes to Fort Worth from Columbus, Ohio, where he was assistant fire chief and deputy chief for special operations and emergency medical services.
Longtime fire department employees Patrick Vasquez and Kenneth Stevens served as interim chiefs during the transition period.