Following the retirement of former Belton Fire Chief Francisco Corona on July 14, 2015, City Manager Sam Listi has appointed Assistant Fire Chief Bruce Pritchard Acting Chief.
The process for selection of the next Belton Fire Chief began soon after the retirement announcement by Corona on May 13, 2015. Asst. Chief Pritchard was the sole internal applicant, and the subject of an intensive evaluation process that included assessment from an interview team comprised of City Manager Listi, Assistant City Manager/Police Chief Gene Ellis, Human Resources Director Charlotte Walker, Belton Fire Department (BFD) Captain Kris Morgan, BFD Lt. Justin Porter, BFD Firefighter Jeff Booker, and BFD Medical Director Dr. Taylor Ratcliff. The interview with Pritchard was conducted on June 24, with follow-up interviews conducted last week by the City Manager.
As a result of this process, City Manager Listi has selected Pritchard to serve as Acting Chief, pending his appointment of Pritchard as permanent Chief, and confirmation by the Belton City Council.
“In Bruce Pritchard’s 25-year tenure with the Belton Fire Department he has risen through the ranks, serving as firefighter, paramedic, Captain, and Assistant Chief. Mr. Pritchard has played a leadership role in all local incidents during his career, and is a good fit for the Department at this time” said City Manager Listi. Some career highlights include:
• Incident Commander for largest structure fire in Belton’s history – Indeco Sales in 2007
• Incident Commander for hurricane disaster program for Hurricanes Katrina and Ike
• Facilitated planning for City’s first aerial ladder truck; addition of Station 2 on Sparta Road; and developed specifications for the Pierce Pumper purchased this year
• Served as Interim Fire Chief twice: 2009 and 2011
• Helped implement the City’s flood alert program along Nolan Creek following the 2010 flood
“Pritchard’s extensive experience and his determination to lead the Belton Fire Department into the future should facilitate a smooth transition for the Fire Department,” Mr. Listi, said.
Council confirmation and the swearing-in of Pritchard as Belton’s next Fire Chief is anticipated at the City Council meeting on July 28, 2015.