The City of Southlake and its Fire Department continues to grow! Fire Chief Mike Starr recently requested and received approval to create four Battalion Chief positions to provide additional leadership and management support to fire operations. This new layer of supervision will help provide lieutenants and firefighters with the support needed to handle daily operations including: training, scheduling, communications and problem solving. The position will also help to further develop a one-on-one, hands-on approach with firefighters on each shift.
Fire Chief Mike Starr says, “The Battalion Chief positions will increase our bench strength as we continue to grow as a department; and it will allow us the opportunity to train, mentor and develop tomorrow’s future leaders within the department.” The new position will also provide Fire Chief Mike Starr and Assistant Fire Chief Wade Carroll the opportunity to focus more on overall operations such as the budget, hiring, equipment needs, and the department’s business and strategic planning.
On June 8th, four members of the Southlake Fire Department were promoted to the rank of Battalion Chief. They are Ryan Arthur, Mike “Pappy” Leonard, Trey Porter, and Jason Wise. All have extensive training, firefighting expertise and leadership skills.
Battalion Chief Ryan Arthur has been with the department since 1999. He hopes to impact his shift by being a strong leader and focusing on training. Arthur says, “My leadership philosophy is simple; to treat others the way you expect to be treated.” He most recently served as the EMS Lieutenant.
Battalion Chief Mike “Pappy” Leonard has been with the Southlake Fire Department for 17 years. Prior to that he served with the Bowie Fire Department. Mike has more than 23 years of experience in fire service and has served as a lieutenant since 2000. Mike says, “I feel my role as a Battalion Chief will help assist the shift lieutenants with training, staffing, back up support and any additional issues that may arise during the 24 hour shift.”
Battalion Chief Trey Porter has been with the Southlake Fire Department for 15 years. Before that he worked for the City of Pantego Fire Department. Trey says, “I would describe my leadership style as a direct and upfront approach. My goal is to make a positive impact on my shift by being a strong leader and focusing on training to help mentor new firefighters.”
Battalion Chief Jason Wise has been with the department for 17 years. He spent time in EMS and volunteered for his community fire department before joining the Southlake Fire Department. Jason says, “I joined fire services to be part of something that is more than a job. Teamwork and camaraderie has always been important to me and I found that and more within the fire service profession.” Jason adds that he believes in leading with a positive and optimistic attitude and he will put forth his best effort in the new position and strive to meet the needs of firefighters.
The new positions bring tremendous and positive change to the fire department by providing the additional leadership and management support. Battalion Chief Arthur adds, “This is a great opportunity for our department and community. I believe this department has a great future and will continue to provide the best emergency and non-emergency services possible to our customers.”
Congratulations to all of the new Battalion Chiefs!
Additionally, Chief Starr is in the process of adding another fire inspector to the department as the City continues to grow. Chief Starr says, “New business and residential growth is continuing at an accelerated pace. It is imperative that we stay ahead of the current economic development and maintain a high level of satisfaction with fire inspections and new construction.”
The new fire inspector position and job description will be posted in the coming weeks.