Tyler’s new fire chief David Coble said he was impressed with the professionalism of the department’s staff and with the City of Roses' charm.
Coble was named Tyler’s new fire chief after a five month-long search.
He currently is the executive assistant fire chief for the Fort Worth Fire Department, where he has served the past seven years.
Coble also served as the acting fire chief for most of 2015, and has managed two of the department’s three divisions, including the Educational and Support Services division, which includes the functions of training, EMS, supply, fire equipment services, fleet management, communications and emergency management.
He will be sworn in at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Tyler City Council meeting in City Hall, 212 N. Bonner St. The meeting is open to the public. His first day is Nov. 7.
“The decision was a difficult one, as each finalist is extremely accomplished,” City Manager Ed Broussard said in a press release. “After the vigorous interview process, we believe that the best candidate for fire chief for the City of Tyler is David Coble, who will provide an exceptional level of service to our citizens.”
Tyler’s search for a new fire chief began in April 2016, following the retirement of Chief Tim Johnson, a 35-year veteran of the City of Tyler Fire Department.
Keller-based Strategic Government Resources was contracted to conduct the nationwide search. Ultimately, 45 individuals applied for the position. That candidate pool was narrowed to eight semi-finalists in early August, following a rigorous initial interview, which included community meetings and input from fire personnel.
FORT WORTH TO TYLER
Coble said he and his wife visited the city over Labor Day weekend. They ate at local restaurants and drove through neighborhoods.
The city made an impression.
“I love the people in Tyler,” he said by phone Thursday. “It reminds me a lot of Fort Worth. We are bigger, but we have that same town feel. Tyler feels very much like home.”
The fire department staff also impressed him, along with the invitation from two former fire chiefs to help him adjust to the role, if needed.
“I met quite a few people, and I was really impressed with professionalism of the fire department. They are a dedicated troop of people. They are there for the public, and I was impressed with their dedication.”
Coble said he wants to learn the culture of the department and become a part of it.
His main initiative will be to promote firefighter safety.
“I will be scanning the department to ensure the firefighters are operating as safely as possible and that they have the tools they need to do their jobs well,” he said, adding from the outside, it looks like the department was managed well.
He will also be in charge of an initiative to build a new fire station in the Cumberland Gap area.
The project, which will be funded through the half-cent sales tax fund, was placed on hold while the city searched for a new chief. Tyler, instead, focused on drainage projects for fiscal year 2017, meaning it will be at least a year before the project sees any progress.