WCESD#4 Commissioners name veteran firefighter as interim chief

Mark McAdams named interim fire chief for WCESD#4.

A veteran firefighter has been named interim chief by the Williamson County Emergency Services District #4 Board of Commissioners.

Commissioner Sandra Taylor, who was authorized by a Board vote last week to select an interim leader for the department, chose Mark McAdams for the position.

McAdams replaces Bruce Watson, who was fired by the Board Jan. 17. Watson’s last day on the job was Jan. 20. He had served as Fire Chief since February 2010.

Board President Dean Andrews told The Independent Wednesday that after talking with McAdams about the position, he was confident that he was a good choice.

“He has had various experiences, served on boards and worked for the City of Austin Fire Department,” Andrews said. “He is a well-respected firefighter.”

McAdams, who has served as Training Coordinator for the WCESD #4 since January 2011, formerly worked at the Liberty Hill fire department in 2007 under former Chief James Pogue. At the time, McAdams was also working at AFD, he said.

He retired from AFD after 22 years of service. At the time, he was serving as Captain of Rescue 28 Special Operations Battalion.

McAdams said from October 2008 to January 2010, he was the Assistant Chief for the Williamson County HazMat team.

McAdams said his goal as Interim Fire Chief is to provide “uninterrupted service to the community.”

Andrews said McAdams will receive an increase in pay — from $18 per hour to $25 per hour. He will work a shift from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and will not use the department’s command vehicle as a take-home vehicle.

Andrews said McAdams will serve for 30 days as the interim leader unless the Board decides to extend that service to allow more time to find a permanent chief.

In addition to his duties as head of the department, McAdams will continue his work as training coordinator, Andrews said.

He said the Board will meet in February to discuss a plan for recruiting a new chief.

Andrews said Commissioner Taylor selected McAdams for the interim job, and no other interviews were conducted.

“It was important to us to have someone within the department to serve in this short-term appointment,” Andrews said, adding that he did not know whether McAdams would apply for the permanent job.

McAdams resides in Jarrell with his wife. He has six children, including a daughter who is a specialist with AFD. He has eight grandchildren.

Andrews said no other personnel changes within the department have been made.