Keller Hires New Fire Chief

From the City of Keller Website:

Dan Gaumont will begin his duties as Keller Fire Chief in about a month. Gaumont, 54, was most recently the Fire Chief in Watertown, N.Y., a job he held since December 1999.

About 50 applications were received for the Keller Chief position, and seven candidates were interviewed. City Manager Dan O’Leary announced the selection of Gaumont this week. He is expected to officially report to his new job on March 30.

“Chief Gaumont comes to us from a part of the country where the Fire Service got its start in the United States,” O’Leary said. “He has been a part of a proud tradition of firefighters for a number of years. He will be a valuable asset to the Keller department.”

Keller’s department employs 54 firefighter/paramedics out of two fire stations and serves about 40,000 residents. A third fire station is scheduled to open in April. The Watertown department employs 83 full-time firefighters and serves a population of nearly 27,000.

Gaumont said he knew he was destined to work in his chosen career from an early age.

“I knew I wanted to be a firefighter from the first day of the first grade of school,” he said. “I live my dream every day. It’s a pleasure for me to come to work. When it stops being a pleasure, either I’ll retire or I won’t be a fireman anymore. I think that will be a long, long time from now.”

He said he is anticipating working another 10-15 years and was seeking a community like Keller in which to put down some roots. “The background research I conducted shows the community to be one of the best places in America to live, and one of the best places in the State of Texas and the Dallas Metroplex,” he said. “ During my visit, I found everyone I met to be extremely professional and very friendly.”

There were several factors that attracted Gaumont to Texas, a goal he said he has had for a number of years. His wife is originally from Wichita Falls and has family there, and their daughter and her family live in Ringgold, which is east of Bowie in Montague County. Another issue is the harsh winters he experienced in Watertown, a community just 30 miles south of the Canadian border that he otherwise loves.

“This year we are somewhere around 190 inches of snow with another four weeks of winter to go,” he said. “Two days before my last visit, our morning low temperature was -27 degrees. After almost 10 years of weather like that we are looking for a change. We believe we have died and gone to heaven with the offer from Keller.”

Gaumont said he is excited to be joining the Keller Fire Department, and the process has been very positive. He said he sees nothing but a bright future for the Department. Among his many accomplishments has been securing about $2.5 million in grants for the Watertown department the past six years. That is success he would like to bring to Keller.

“I know the Keller Fire Department has good people and I am extremely excited to become a part of that Team,” Gaumont said. “I believe I can bring new ideas to the department and a new perspective at looking at issues in the future. My wife and I cannot wait to arrive as we look forward to becoming active members of the community and its civic groups. We plan to live where we work in the City of Keller.”

Gaumont earned his bachelor’s degree in fire safety engineering and technology from the University of Cincinnati, and earned a master’s in public administration from Western Michigan University. Before leading the Watertown department, he led the department in Ipswich, Mass.; was Deputy Chief in Portage, Mich.; and in the U.S. Air Force as Chief at Peterson AFB in Colorado, New Boston AFS in New Hampshire, Deputy Fire Chief at Sheppard AFB in Wichita Falls and Fire Chief/Deputy Chief at RAF Alconbury AFB in England.

News reports from Watertown, NY with video can be found here.


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