Arlington, Texas – In a decisive move demonstrating progressive urban governance, Arlington City Manager, Trey Yelverton, announced the appointment of Bret Stidham, a seasoned firefighter boasting 30 years of experience with Dallas Fire-Rescue, as the new Chief of the Fire Department and Director of Emergency Management.
Bret Stidham is experienced firefighter
Since 2019, Stidham demonstrated outstanding proficiency as second-in-command at Dallas Fire-Rescue. His accomplishments also include a two-year stint as the Assistant Fire Chief of Emergency Operations and Special Operations, underlining his extensive experience in the field.
On the 7th of August, Stidham will embrace the responsibilities of leading Arlington’s Fire Department, a team comprised of 399 dedicated personnel, along with its 113-strong 911 Dispatch Center. Until then, the department will continue to function under the interim leadership of Assistant Fire Chief Jonathan Ingols.
This significant appointment follows the retirement announcement of Fire Chief Don Crowson, who concluded a commendable 40-year career. The departure of such a stalwart triggered a widespread search for a suitable replacement, attracting nearly 50 highly qualified public safety professionals nationwide vying for the distinguished role.
Earlier this month, Stidham joined four other potential fire chiefs in a rigorous series of panel interviews. This highly competitive selection process encompassed a diverse cohort of the city’s executive leadership team, representatives from the Arlington Professional Fire Fighters Association, and influential business leaders.
“Chief Stidham stood out in a very robust selection process and everyone we spoke with who had the chance to work with him in the City of Dallas had nothing but glowing remarks about his leadership, skills and ability to collaborate,” Yelverton said.
Stidham responded to his appointment with anticipation, voicing his eagerness to embark on this new chapter in his career. He faces the critical task of ensuring the safety of Arlington, a bustling city home to nearly 400,000 residents, and serving as a magnet to more than 14 million tourists annually.
“I feel like my 30-year career has led me to this moment. There’s a lot going on in Arlington – it’s a destination city and a city on the grow,” said Stidham, who said he grew up in North Texas and has visited Arlington for Rangers and Cowboys games, days at Six Flags Over Texas and other activities throughout his life. “This is a fire chief’s dream job, to be honest.”