McAfee named new Selma fire chief
Kyle McAfee was introduced to the Selma City Council on May 9 as its new fire chief.
McAfee, an assistant chief for the past seven years and a battalion chief for the previous five years, spent the past 18 months as assistant chief with the Schertz Fire Department. Previously he had been stationed in North Richland Hills, outside of Fort Worth.
McAfee’s first day as the new chief was April 29. He fills the vacancy left by Fire Chief Ric Braun, who retired late last fall.
McAfee recounted his initial reaction to the job offer and his thoughts on the hiring process, which included City Manager Johnny Casias taking each of the three finalists to dinner.
“He didn’t even let on that he was thinking about me as their guy. But shortly after he’d met with everybody, he gave me a call and said I was their choice,” McAfee said. “I had already pretty well decided that if they offered it to me I was going to take it.”
McAfee said a department the size of Selma’s fits his style.
“The size of the department appealed to me,” he said. “A lot of fire chiefs measure themselves by the number of stations and people they command. You’re less likely to develop that one-on-one relationship with a person, with your firefighters.
“The way I like to manage, I like to know the people I work with. I like to know their families so I can know their kids’ names. A smaller department is just a better fit for me,” he added.
McAfee holds certification up and down the rank, as a firefighter paramedic, a master firefighter, master inspector, and master arson investigator. He said he is working on a master’s degree, and is also working on the executive fire officer (EFO) though the National Fire Academy.
He said the “feather in my cap” was being the recipient of the International Association of Fire Chiefs Award for Fire Service Excellence in 2008 with North Richland Hills.