Gainesville hires new Fire Chief

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GAINESVILLE, TX - The city of Gainesville has hired a new chief to lead their fire department. A lifelong resident of the city, with his decades of experience. The city says the fire department is in good hands.

Thursday, Gainesville announced Wally Cox as their new fire chief. He's been with the department for his entire career of over 30 years, starting back in 1983

With a long list of education, certifications and training, the city said Cox was the clear choice for the job.

"Somewhat overwhelming. I guess you can say," said Wally Cox, Gainesville Fire Chief.

Former assistant chief Wally Cox said he's grateful the city of Gainesville has decided to appoint him to lead the fire department.

After serving 30 years with the department, he said it just seemed like the right fit.

"I felt like when the position came open that it was a good step. I felt like I could offer the city some experience with the department and with the city," said Cox.

And he certainly can. Cox has lived in Gainesville all his life.
He's earned college degrees in fire science and emergency administration and holds some of Texas Commission of Fire Protection's highest certificates.

"I hold the master fire fighter certification, which is the highest firefighter certification. I hold an instructor rating with them. And also a fire investigator certification with them," said Cox

"He had the training. He knows where we're moving and he knows where the department has been," said Barry Sullivan, Gainesville city manager.

Cox started with the Gainesville fire department back in 1983 as an apparatus operator.Then rose through the ranks of lieutenant, captain, assistant emergency management coordinator and now chief.

"He's the person to be there, that knows each of these men and understands their struggles and weaknesses and able to build the department that will last beyond his tenure as chief," said Sullivan

Cox said the first thing he will do is an intensive review of his entire department. The policies, procedures and the direction he feels is best for the department.

"We owe it to ourselves and our department to look at everything. And that's what we will do," said Cox.

City officials said they believe Cox will do a great job.

"He's been a part of the firefighter family for a long time and he'll make a great leader," said Sullivan.

City manager Barry Sullivan said 26 applicants applied for the position. But Wally Cox's background and involvement with the department made his decision an easy one.

Chief Cox said he believes he has one of the best group of guys around and he hopes to continue to build on that.