Article by Dennis Spellman, published on March 16, 2016 in Covering Katy:
Russell Wilson was named City of Katy fire chief by the city council earlier this week. Wilson currently serves as an assistant fire chief with the City of Irving. He will start his new post on May 2.
Wilson holds a Master of Science in Fire and Emergency Management Administration and has been in the fire service industry for 27 years. He is certified through the Texas Commission on Fire Protection as a master firefighter, fire instructor master, hazardous materials response technician and field examiner. Wilson is also a graduate of the Fire Service Chief Executive Officer Program through the business school at Texas A&M University.
The hiring of Katy’s new fire chief concludes what was a 5 month selection process.
Wilson will take over for interim Fire Chief Rufus Summers, who has lead the department for more than two years. During his time at the helm he led the restructuring of the fire department.
The Katy Fire Department began with a group of volunteers in 1947. According to the City of Katy website, 14 men met in a schoolroom and established the city’s fire protection service. The department’s equipment consisted of an Army surplus crash truck purchased from Ellington Field with money donated by the residents of Katy. The Katy Volunteer Fire Department gradually increased in size as the city grew and developed.
Today, the department has grown from an all-volunteer department to a professional department with paid personnel. Still, the department encourages volunteerism, according to the city’s website.
In addition to providing fire and emergency medical services, the department also oversees the city’s Office of Emergency Management, which handles natural and manmade disasters.