Mayor Parker Taps Terry Garrison to be Houston’s New Fire Chief
August 25, 2010


Mayor Annise Parker today announced Terry Garrison is her choice to be the new head of the Houston Fire Department.

“I decided that our fire fighters need new direction,” said Mayor Parker. “We need to prepare a good department for a very different future and I believe Terry Garrison has the qualities to do this. His expertise is focused on improving training programs and implementing new policies to achieve goals that enhance the fire department as a whole. I am eager for him to get started and look forward to his recommendations that will bring HFD to a new level.”

Garrison worked in various capacities for the Phoenix Fire Department for more than 30 years, including as a fire/arson investigator and rising to eventually become assistant chief of the operations division. He then served as fire chief for the City of Oceanside, California, and most recently as interim chief and assistant chief for Daisy Mountain Fire District in Arizona.

As an educator, Garrison has co-authored an instruction workbook outlining incident command procedures that is sold worldwide and has been a teacher at several symposia and conferences for many years. He was a member of the Phoenix Community College Fire Science Instructor Faculty for six years and then served as department chair. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Fire Science Management from Ottawa University and a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. He also completed the Certified Public Manager program from Arizona State University in 2009. 

Garrison, 52, has four grown children with his wife, Annette. Garrison’s nomination requires confirmation by Houston City Council.  He will lead a department of approximately 3,984 classified members and 257 civilian employees

Finalists Picked For Houston Fire Chief Position
August 13, 2010

Sources have confirmed to 2 On The Beat that Mayor Annise Parker has interviewed  two or three final candidates for the job  of  Houston Fire Chief.  

I’ve heard the finalists include acting HFD Chief Rick Flanagan, Terry Garrison a former fire chief  in Oceanside, California and Phoenix, Arizona, and a third person, whose name I can’t seem to track down.  I do know that all finalists are men – one African American, one White and one Hispanic.

Earlier this week,  I reported that 25 people had applied for the position and seven were brought to town on Wednesday.

They met with representatives from Emergency Services Consulting International and members of  a task force appointed by Mayor Annise Parker.  The task force includes Harris County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia and TSU President Dr. John Rudley. 

Unless she feels the need to expand the list of  finalists sent to her office by  the consulting firm and task force members,  Mayor Parker plans to pick a final candidate who will undergo another extensive background check.

The mayor says she will name the new Fire Chief by the end of  August.