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Fire Chief

Fire Chief

McKinney, TX, USA

McKinney, TX, USA

City of McKinney

Greg Nelson and Bryan Noblett


Lead Recruiter

Fire Chief

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McKinney, Texas is conducting a broad, national, search to attract and select its next Fire Chief. Top candidates will have executive fire and EMS experience serving in large, growing communities, and will have highly developed skills in building effective and authentic relationships that foster teamwork and cooperation. McKinney’s rapid growth results in plans to add commercial passenger service to its airport, and its winning High-Performance Organization culture makes this a highly coveted position.


Just 30 miles north of downtown Dallas, McKinney is a picturesque city with a small-town feel that is quite different from the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex's urban sprawl. Its friendly charm, green spaces and comfortable pace belie the fact that McKinney, with a population of more than 211,400, is one of the fastest-growing cities in America. The build-out population is estimated at 350,000. McKinney serves as the County seat of Collin County and is home to the McKinney Performing Arts Center (the former Collin County Courthouse) and the McKinney National Airport, a full-service North Texas general aviation airport with a very active corporate flight department and bold plans to add a commercial terminal.

The nation continues to recognize McKinney as a stand-out community. Money Magazine previously ranked McKinney the #1 Best Place to Live in America. Factors considered included employment, schools, crime, and safety, as well as overall quality of life aspects including a feeling of community pride. This adds to the accolades already received from Forbes, Best Life Magazine, CNNMoney and more.


The City of McKinney operates under the Council-Manager form of government with home rule status. The City Council consists of seven voting members, four of which are elected from districts and two members plus the mayor elected at large. The City Council appoints only the City Manager, City Attorney, and Municipal Court Judge. The City Manager serves as the Chief Executive and Administrative Officer for the City and its current City Manager was appointed in 2015 providing strong consistency and stability in leadership.

The City of McKinney is a rapidly growing and dynamic organization that provides its services through nearly 1,500 FTE positions and an all-funds budget of $652 million and a General Fund budget of $190 million.

Working for the City of McKinney is more than a job. It is an opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others. It is also an opportunity to be a part of a High-Performance Organization that values collaboration and works at a fast and dynamic pace.


The McKinney Fire Department (MFD) strives to be a progressive, innovative and critically thinking organization that optimizes opportunities to serve the McKinney community. It offers the best in customer service and care and is always in search of a better way of operating. Its mission is to promote and protect the community’s health and safety through dynamic programs, professional services, and continuous quality improvement.

The McKinney Fire Department has a current budget of approximately $39.6 million in support of 250 allocated FTEs (230 sworn and 20 professional staff members) spread across 10 fire stations. The Department’s structure consists of three Assistant Fire Chiefs, each overseeing the divisions of Operations, Fire Prevention, and Administration and an EMS Chief overseeing the EMS division.

McKinney Fire Department received the top rating by the Insurance Services Office (ISO). As a Class 1 ISO fire department, McKinney Fire Department is identified as a premier fire agency for protecting commercial property and is rated in the top 1% of fire departments nationally.


As a key member of the Executive Management Team, the Fire Chief reports to the Director of Public Safety along with the Police Chief and Emergency Manager. The Fire Chief is responsible for leading, planning, implementing, and managing all activities of the Fire Department. The Fire Chief directs delivery of fire prevention, fire suppression, and rescue and emergency medical services; coordinates assigned activities with other departments and outside agencies; and provides highly responsible and complex administrative support to City Management.

Key responsibilities include directing and managing the development and implementation of departmental goals, objectives, policies and priorities for each assigned service and/or operational area; overseeing the development and implementation of policies and plans related to departmental services and operations; preparing annual department budget projections and maintaining the budget in a fiscally responsible manner; and possessing a strong vision for how the fire service integrates with the City of McKinney and communicating and inspiring others to work towards this vision.

The ideal candidate will be a team-oriented, problem-solving, and collaborative leader who can build effective partnerships, encourage feedback and critique, and use the input received to drive continuous improvement. In addition, a proven track record of executive fire experience in a growing community, especially one larger than McKinney, would be highly valuable.


Any work-related experience resulting in acceptable proficiency levels in the below minimum qualifications is an acceptable substitute for the below specified education and experience requirements.

  • Education: A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.

  • Experience: Fifteen years previous experience that includes fire prevention, suppression, rescue, and emergency medical services, along with eight years of experience as a Battalion Chief or higher.

  • Certifications: Advanced certification required. Head of the Department certification from the Texas Commission on Fire Protection is required or must be obtained within one year of employment.


The salary range for the Fire Chief is $165,000 - $239,400, with placement in the range dependent on qualifications. An excellent executive benefit package is provided including retirement through the Texas Municipal Retirement System (TMRS) with a 7% employee contribution. The City of McKinney matches member deposits and interest at retirement at a rate of 2 to 1. In addition, a voluntary deferred compensation plan is available, medical/dental/vision insurance, relocation assistance, and generous holiday, vacation and sick leave.

Refer to the detailed recruitment brochure for additional benefit information.


Confidential inquiries are welcomed to Greg Nelson or Bryan Noblett at (916) 550-4100.

A preliminary closing date has been set for March 20, 2023

Interested candidates may apply below and review the detailed recruitment brochure by clicking on the link above.

This recruitment incorporates existing rules and regulations that govern public sector recruitments in the State of Texas. In accordance with public disclosure/open record laws, information submitted for consideration may be made available to the public upon request by interested parties.

The City of McKinney is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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