Parker selects new fire chief

Mayor Annise Parker today announced Terry Garrison as her choice to be the new head of the Houston Fire Department.

“I decided that our fire fighters need new direction,” said Mayor Parker. “We need to prepare a good department for a very different future, and I believe Terry Garrison has the qualities to do this. His expertise is focused on improving training programs and implementing new policies to achieve goals that enhance the fire department as a whole. I am eager for him to get started and look forward to his recommendations that will bring HFD to a new level.”

Garrison worked in various capacities for the Phoenix Fire Department for more than 30 years, including as a fire/arson investigator and rising to eventually become assistant chief of the operations division. He then served as fire chief for the City of Oceanside, California, and most recently as interim chief and assistant chief for Daisy Mountain Fire District in Arizona.

As an educator, Garrison has co-authored an instruction workbook outlining incident command procedures that is sold worldwide and has been a teacher at several symposia and conferences for many years. He was a member of the Phoenix Community College Fire Science Instructor Faculty for six years and then served as department chair. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Fire Science Management from Ottawa University and a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. He also completed the Certified Public Manager program from Arizona State University in 2009.

Garrison, 52, has four grown children with his wife, Annette. Garrison’s nomination requires confirmation by Houston City Council. He will lead a department of approximately 3,984 classified members and 257 civilian employees.

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