Whitehouse Fire Department names new Fire Chief

WHITEHOUSE (Tyler Morning Telegraph) -- The Whitehouse Municipal Fire Department has a new chief.

City Manager Kevin Huckabee said Madison Johnson was tapped for the position, and will start working full-time on Monday.

Johnson has spent more than 12 years with the Jacksonville Fire Department.

Huckabee said Johnson, a licensed paramedic, had the necessary qualifications and "interviewed really well."

"I think everyone said, ‘This sounds great,'" he said.

The decision to bring Johnson in came more than a month after a house fire prompted the city of Whitehouse to look closer at municipal fire department protocol and make administrative changes.

The fire occurred Aug. 18 at a house in the 200 block of Senter Avenue.

After the fact, various issues were brought up, such as the 18-minute response time and a nearby fire hydrant that didn't work that day.

After reviewing everything with the fire chief at the time, what could best be determined was that there was a deficiency with written protocols for communications and manning the district during certain circumstances, Huckabee said in August via email.

"We took a look at it and thought maybe administrative duties are lacking and did some readjusting," he added at the time.

That readjusting meant that John Hargis, hired last year as part-time municipal fire chief, would serve as assistant municipal fire chief, as would Jeff Molloy. Josh Britton and Nick Stephens would serve as municipal lieutenants, according to an August city announcement.

Huckabee anticipated hiring a full-time municipal fire chief by Oct. 1.


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