Breckenridge Texan

Fire Chief Calvin Chaney to retire from BFD; Wayne McMullen sworn in as new county Fire Marshal

Fire Chief Calvin Chaney to retire from BFD; Wayne McMullen sworn in as new county Fire Marshal
December 22
12:50 2021

By Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan

The City of Breckenridge will have a new City Fire Chief and Stephens County will have a new County Fire Marshal heading into 2022.

Wayne McMullen is sworn in as the new Stephens County Fire Marshal by County Judge Michael Roach during the Dec. 13 Commissioners Court. McMullen also is the Stephens County Constable. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

On Friday, Dec. 17, Breckenridge Fire Chief Calvin Chaney announced that he had accepted a new position and will be retiring from the Breckenridge Fire Department on Jan. 7.

At their Monday, Dec. 13, meeting, Stephens County Commissioners appointed Constable Wayne McMullen as the Stephens County Fire Marshal. He was sworn in at the meeting and took over the position effective immediately for a two-year term. Currently, the fire marshal position is an unpaid position. McMullen will serve as both  constable and fire marshal.

As the county fire marshal, McMullen will be responsible for investigating fires in the unincorporated areas of Stephens County, County Judge Michael Roach said. “It carries quite a bit of investigative jurisdiction really,” he said.

Additionally, he said the fire marshal also works on hazard materials mitigation and fire mitigation.

In an announcement posted on the Breckenridge Fire Department’s Facebook page, Chaney said that he had turned in his retirement papers effective Jan. 7 and that he would be taking a new job with the Texas Commission of Fire Protection beginning Jan. 10.

“I have worked here for 30 years and this job offer came open with the State and I applied and was offered the job on 12/16/2021. BFD is currently working to fill the job of Fire Chief internally and we will keep the community advised on those decisions,” he posted.

Fire Chief Search

According to Breckenridge City Manager Erika McComis, the city has not officially started their search for a new fire chief. She said Captain Justin Read will serve as interim fire chief until a new chief is hired.

“I’ll meet with the (City) Commission about it on Jan. 4, and we’ll go from there,” she said. “More than likely we’ll try to hire someone internally.”

Fire Marshal changes

McComis attended a recent County Commissioners meeting and met with the commissioners in executive session about the fire marshal position. For many years, the Breckenridge Fire Chief has also served as the County Fire Marshal; in recent years, that has been Chaney.

“They had to appoint a fire marshal. And in the past, it’s been Calvin, and they just have someone on staff now that can handle that. And it just allows for checks and balances,” McComis said. “(McMullen) has that fire background and law enforcement background. So it’s just the perfect time for them to appoint him in that position.”

Roach said McMullen also has arson investigator training.

Breckenridge Police Chief Bacel Cantrell went to arson investigation training is also available for investigation, McComis said.

Both Roach and McComis said the changes at the County Fire Marshal’s office will not have any effect on how emergency fire calls will be handled in both the county and the city. They said the response will stay the same.


Cutline, top photo: Breckenridge Fire Calvin Chaney gives an update on the status of wildfires during a weekly county update in August 2020. At that time, he was also the Stephens County Fire Marshal. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

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