City of Celina, TX

06/19/2024 | News release | Distributed by Public on 06/19/2024 14:29

City of Celina Announces Finalists for Fire Chief

CELINA, TX - The City of Celina is excited to announce the finalists for the position of Fire Chief. In its search to replace the retiring Chief Mark Metdker as Celina's next Fire Chief, the City retained the services of Ure Consulting Group.

The City of Celina is pleased to present the distinguished finalists:
• Robin Bergerson - Executive Deputy Fire Chief, Waco, TX
• Chris Connealy - Senior Director of Emergency Services (ret.), Williamson County, TX
• Eric Everson - Assistant Fire Chief, City of Celina, TX
• Adrian Garcia - Fire Chief, City of Mission, TX
• Les Stephens - Fire Chief, City of San Marcos, TX

A Community Meet & Greet will be held on Wednesday, June 26, from 7:00 - 8:30 PM in Council Chambers (112 N. Colorado Dr), providing residents an opportunity to engage with the candidates and learn more about their vision for the future of the Celina Fire Department.

Robin Bergerson
Robin Bergerson, an accomplished leader with 31 years in the fire service, currently serves as the Executive Deputy Fire Chief of the Waco Fire Department. Bergerson is a graduate of the National Fire Academy's Executive Fire Officer Program, the IAFC Fire Service Executive Development Institute, and the Texas Fire Chiefs Academy. In addition, he holds the Chief Fire Officer designation from the Center for Public Safety Excellence. Bergerson contributes to fire service literature and teaches leadership and fireground command across the United States. Bergerson holds a master's degree in public administration, a bachelor's degree in organizational leadership, and an associate's degree in fire service administration.

Chris Connealy
Chris Connealy has dedicated 45 years to public safety, beginning with the Houston Fire Department in 1978, where he ascended to Fire Chief over a 26-year career. Under his leadership, Houston became the largest-accredited Fire Department and ISO Class 1 City in the United States. He later served as Fire Chief of the Cedar Park Fire Department and as Fire Marshal for the State of Texas, earning state and national awards for his work. Former Governor Rick Perry appointed him to the Texas Commission on Fire Protection in 2006 and was later appointed Chairman of the Texas Commission on Fire Protection in 2009. Connealy graduated from the National Fire Academy's Executive Fire Officer Program and accepted a fellowship the Harvard University State and Local Executive Program.

Eric Everson
Eric Everson, with 29 years in the fire service, began his career with the City of The Colony and spent two decades with Plano Fire-Rescue. He joined the Celina Fire Department in 2008 as a volunteer firefighter, transitioning to full-time in 2016. Over the past nine years, Everson advanced from Deputy Chief over Emergency Medical Services and Emergency Management to Assistant Fire Chief of Operations. Currently, as Assistant Fire Chief of Operations, Chief Everson manages emergency operations, budget, payroll, EMS, training, and department logistics. Everson earned his master's degree in public administration and bachelor's degree in emergency administration and planning from the University of North Texas and his associate's degree in fire science from Collin College.

Adrian Garcia
Adrian Garcia, with over 30 years of public safety experience, currently serves as the Fire Chief of the Mission Fire Department, where he manages 116 personnel and has enhanced community response models. His career began in 1991 as a volunteer firefighter, during which he founded the Technical Rescue & Dive Team and received multiple Firefighter of the Year awards. Garcia joined the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport Department of Public Safety in 1997, advancing to Assistant Fire Chief and earning the Public Safety Officer of the Year award in 2000 while playing a significant role in the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. From 2016 to 2020, Garcia served as the Fire Chief and Emergency Management Coordinator for the Kingsville Fire Department. Garcia holds numerous certifications and academic credentials, including a bachelor's degree from the University of North Texas.

Les Stephens
Les Stephens, a 36-year fire service veteran, has served as the Fire Chief for the San Marcos Fire Department for the last 15 years. His career began in 1988 with the River Oaks Volunteer Fire Department and progressed through the Garland Fire Department, where he rose to Battalion Chief for over 18 years. Stephens is an accomplished author and speaker on various topics, including strategic decision-making, fire department budget and finance, professional development, and line-of-duty death case studies. He holds numerous certifications, including as Master Firefighter, Paramedic, Fire Officer IV, and Fire Instructor III, and has served as an instructor in multiple fire training programs. Credential as a Chief Fire Officer and Certified Public Manager, Stephens served as the President of the Texas Fire Chiefs Association and was honored as the association's Fire Chief of the Year in 2023.