HOUSTON – Sam Peña, Houston’s new fire chief, was sworn into office Monday at Houston City Hall.
Assistant fire Chief Rodney West served as interim fire chief after Chief Terry Garrison accepted another position in his home town of Glendale, Arizona, in 2015.
Peña will be the head of the third largest fire department in the country, with about 4,000 employees.
Mayor Sylvester Turner was on hand for the introduction.
Turner touched on the accomplishments across the past year, pointing out the fact that a new fire chief and police chief have been appointed, as well as working to repair potholes, pensions and finances. He also recognized that the city has put a dent in the kush problem and helped to clean up neighborhoods.
Turner said he chose Peña because of his diversity, knowledge and experience.
Turned expressed the fact that he believes Peña demonstrates a commitment to the Houston Fire Department and he is capable of leading the large force.
Peña began working as a firefighter in 1994 in the El Paso Fire Department, where he worked for 20 years. He also worked in the department as a paramedic, a media spokesman, a medical coordinator, and as a member of the search and rescue team.
Peña is married and has two sons and a grandson.
The ceremony began at 3 p.m.