May 16 Storm Debris Pick Up
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Staff

We would like to take the time to introduce our amazing staff and the people.

Fire Chief Rhea Cooper (Interim)

Rhea Cooper headshot

Rhea Cooper began his career with the Lubbock Fire Department (LFD), promoted up through the ranks, and retired from the LFD as Fire Chief, with over 31 years of service. Rhea is certified by the Texas Commission on Fire Protection as a Master Firefighter and as a Fire Instructor III Master. He has served on the Firefighter Advisory Committee for the Texas Fire Commission and as a Fire Commissioner. Rhea received his Bachelor of Science degree from Wayland Baptist University. He achieved the designation as Executive Fire Officer from the National Fire Academy and Chief Fire Officer Designation from the Center for Public Safety Excellence. After retiring, he became the Assistant Chief of North Branch for the Texas A&M Forest Service. He has served as Interim Fire Chief for the City of Brenham in 2021, for the City of Boerne in 2022, and Horseshoe Bay, Texas in 2023.

Assistant Chief (Vacant)

 

Steven Loving headshotFire Marshal Steven Loving

Steven Loving was a lifelong resident of San Patricio County, Ingleside and Sinton Texas before accepting the appointment and position as the City of Brenham Fire Marshal.

Steven is married to his wife Donna Loving for 32 years, two children Chris and Rhonda, and three grandchildren Jacob, Jayda, and Aaron. Steven, Donna, and their granddaughter have moved to Brenham and look forward to being active citizens within the community.

Steven has been a firefighter since 1987, Ingleside Volunteer Fire Department. He has worked for the City of Aransas Pass Fire Department as a Firefighter (Lieutenant), Tri-County Emergency Medical Services, Port Aransas Police Department and San Patricio County Sheriff’s Office.

Steven has been a licensed peace officer since 1993 and currently holds a Master Peace Officer License. Steven currently has Texas Commission on Fire Protection Advanced Fire Inspector, Advanced Fire Investigator, Plans Examiner, and Advanced Fire Suppression certification. Steven also holds a Master Firefighter Certification with the State Firefighters and Fire Marshals’ Association and serves as Chairman for the Fire Marshal Committee for that organization. Steven holds multiple other certifications within TCOLE, TCFP, and SFFMA certification programs.

Steven Loving retired from San Patricio County and the Sheriff’s Office after serving for 26 years. He retired with the rank of Sergeant Investigator, he also served as a patrol deputy, jail investigator, internal affairs investigator, employee background investigator, tactical response team, crime scene technician, and negotiator. He served as first San Patricio County Fire Marshal since 2015.

Steven also served as the Chief of the Ingleside Volunteer Fire Department. While serving as the Fire Chief for Ingleside Steven was awarded the Firefighter of the Year 2018 for the State Firefighters and Fire Marshals’ Association.

Steven Loving through his life long career in emergency services has developed the belief that as a Fire Marshal the main goal is to gain compliance with the fire codes and standards for the protection of our citizens and city.

Administrative Secretary Carrie DerkowskiCarrie Derkowski headshot

Carrie has spent most of her life in Brenham, moving from Houston with her family in 1976. She comes from a big family one of six children. She graduated from Brenham High School in 1992, attended Blinn, and graduated from a Business School in Austin in 1994. Shortly after, she married her husband, Shawn Derkowski, in 1996. Shawn is employed at MIC Group and has been there for 27 years. They have two sons, Austin & Brayden. Austin is attending Texas A&M majoring in Engineering and will be applying for Mechanical Engineering next Fall. Brayden is a Freshman at Brenham High School and plays Baseball, competes on the BHS AnglerTeam, plays tournament ball with the Batter’s Box, participates in the Texas Brigades, and is a member of Bluebonnet 4-H showing Rabbits at the County Fair. They are members of St. Mary's Catholic Church. In Carrie's spare time she enjoys traveling, cooking, decorating, shopping, and most of all spending time with her family & friends.

A Shift

Captain Andrew JozwiakAndrew Jozwiak headshot

Andrew Jozwiak joined the department as a volunteer in February 2004. He attended Texas A&M Fire Academy and was promoted to Apparatus Operator in April of 2007. He holds an Advanced Certification through the Texas Commission on Fire Protection and Driver, Aerial Operator and Instructor I certifications, Fire Officer II, and Basic Wildland Certification.

Andrew helped the truck committee design trucks for the Fire Department since 2006. He is a member of the Texas Association of Emergency Vehicle Technicians and does an excellent job as the Departments EVT. Andrew got Fireman of the year in 2015 and Central Texas Fireman of the year in 2015. He has a son named Michael Jozwiak. Michael was a mascot for the Brenham Fire Department in 2017.

Brent Folsom headshot

Lieutenant Brent Folsom

Folsom joined the Brenham Fire Department in 2015 as a volunteer and then promoted to Apparatus Operator in April 2016. Brent is a graduate of Brenham High School in 2004 and later received his Associate's degree in Fire Science from Blinn College.

Brent graduated from the Texas A&M Fire Academy in 2015 and received his firefighter-basic shortly after. He is also a certified EMT-Paramedic, Hazmat Technician, and Swift Water Rescue Technician. He started out his fire career at College Station Fire Department and then came back to Brenham to serve the community where he was raised. Brent and his wife, Jenny, were married in July of 2018.


Apparatus Operator Samuel Chase JonesSamuel Chase Jones headshot

Samuel Chase Jones was born and raised in Bryan Texas. Chase attended TEEX fire academy in 2009 and received his EMT- Basic and basic Fire Certification through Texas Commission on Fire Protection. Chase started working for St. Joseph EMS in 2010 and still works there on his days off. He started with the Brenham Fire Department in January 2017 and recently achieved his Driver Operator Certification. He has enjoyed his short time with BFD and is looking forward to growing his career along with the continued growth of the City.

During deer season, Chase is a hunting guide in the Texas hill country and enjoys spending time on his family's land. Chase married Brittany Krolczyk in July of 2014 and they moved to Washington County in January 2017. Chase and Brittany have a daughter and son, Nora & Samuel.

Firefighter Joshua Ruemke

Josh Ruemke headshotJoshua Ruemke is a lifelong resident of Brenham, he graduated from Brenham high school in 2017 and graduated from Blinn College in 2020. He became a volunteer with the Brenham Fire Department in 2017 before being hired full-time in July of 2022. Joshua holds a basic structural firefighter certification through TCFP and a basic Emergency Medical Technician through the national registry as well as an S130/S190 woodland certification.  As a young child, Joshua was the Brenham Fire Department’s Mascot in 2009.  Joshua grew up showing cattle and pigs and holding many leadership roles through 4H. In his spare time, he enjoys hunting and fishing.

Firefighter Jon Devine

Jon Devine headshotJon Devine was born and raised in Brenham.  He graduated from Brenham High School in 2007 and attended Blinn Junior College.  In 2019, Jon graduated from the Texas A&M Fire Academy.  He obtained his EMR and EMT-basic from Quality EMS.  Jon holds a certification in Vehicle Extrication Tech 1.  In 2015, Jon married his lovely wife, Christine.  They enjoy spending time outdoors and with family and friends.

 

Firefighter Colton Whitaker

Colton Whitaker headshot

Coltin Whitaker was born in Austin Texas and raised in La Grange Texas, Coltin attended TEEX Fire Academy and graduated in 2020. Coltin is currently a Volunteer Firefighter in La Grange, Coltin joined the Brenham Fire Department in April of 2023 and is assigned to A shift. In his spare time Coltin enjoys hunting and fishing with his friends, Coltin spent a lot of time playing baseball in and around Brenham with the Batters Box. Coltin enjoys the area around Fayette County and Brenham, since he enjoys being in the area he wanted to give back to the citizens and help any way possible.

 

B Shift

Captain of B Shift Josh SebastianJosh Sebastian headshot

Joshua is a lifelong resident of Brenham and joined the Brenham Fire Department as a volunteer in 2004. He graduated from Brenham High School in 2004 and in 2005 graduated from Texas A&M Fire Academy. He was promoted in 2010 to Apparatus Operator and holds his Advanced Firefighter, Fire Officer II, Wildland Certification, Driver Operator, Hazmat Tech, and he plays a role in the Fire Prevention play as "Hoser". In 2017 he was promoted to Captain of B-Shift. Josh and his lovely wife were married in March 2009 and their family grew with the birth of their daughter "Addelyn" in 2014.

Lieutenant Ryan SworRyan Swor headshot

Ryan Swor has served with the Brenham Fire Department since 2014, beginning as a Volunteer Firefighter. He graduated from the Texas A&M Fire Academy in 2015 and was promoted to Apparatus Operator in January 2016. He is currently an Intermediate Firefighter and a member of the Washington County Special Operations Division. Ryan is a certified Emergency Medical Technician and holds certifications in NIMS 100, 200, 300, 400, 700, 800, Driver Operator (Pumper and Aerial), Fire Officer I, Fire Instructor, Fire Inspector, Vehicle Extrication I & II, Wild Land Firefighter, Washington County EMS Rope Rescue I & II.

As a member of Texas A&M Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue, Ryan holds additional certifications in Swift Water Rescue Technician, Flood Water Boat Operator, Swift Water Boat Operator, and is a Squad Officer within Washington County’s  Texas A&M Task Force 1 bailment team.

Ryan received public commendation from Texas Governor Greg Abbott and a Life-Saving Award of Valor from Texas A&M Task Force 1 for saving 3 Lives during Hurricane Hanna in 2020.

 

Apparatus Operator Joe HindsJoe Hinds headshot

Joe joined the Brenham Fire Department in January 2017. He was born and raised in Brenham, Texas, graduated from Brenham High School in 2007, went to college and graduated from Sam Houston State University. Joe attended TEEX during the summer of 2016; he was a member of the online recruit class 13. He then went through the EMS program at Blinn College and became a certified EMT. Joe carries the certification for Vehicle Extrication Technician I. Joe has obtained his Class B license and completed the Driver/Operator class through the Brenham Fire Department.

Joe and his wife, Crystal, were married in June of 2018. His parents are Jeff, Julie Hinds, his mom is a teacher at the High School, and his dad is a manager at the Washington County Fairgrounds. During his time off, he enjoys spending time with his nieces as well as umpiring high school baseball.

Firefighter Dakota Woodruff

Dakota Woodruff headshotDakota Woodruff joined the Brenham Fire Department as a volunteer in February of 2021. He was born in Dallas, Texas, but was raised in the small town of Lone Oak, Texas with only 600 people. In high school, Dakota joined his local volunteer fire department which only grew his passion for firefighting. He later went on to attend the fire academy at Fire in Texas class #62 and earned his certificate in April 2019. Soon after completion of fire academy, Dakota married his high school sweetheart, Katie, and they currently reside in College Station, Texas. Whoop! Dakota also holds a Jailer 1 license which he obtained during his time as a Corporal Jailer at the Burleson County Sheriff’s Office. After joining Brenham as a volunteer, Dakota received a Vehicle Extrication 1 certification as well as his Emergency Care Attendant license. On his days off, he enjoys spending time with his wife and friends, as well as traveling. Dakota is excited and honored to begin his career at the Brenham Fire Department.

Firefighter Alexander Knight

Alex Knight headshotAlexander Knight started at Brenham Fire Dept as a volunteer in July 2019 and was hired full-time in July 2022.  Alex has a bachelor’s in criminal justice from Texas State University. He holds a certification as an EMT B from Blinn college. Alex is a veteran of the U.S Army and a former caregiver in College Station. Knight is married to his wife Mikayla, and they have two daughters, Alli and Charlee. They enjoy hiking and swimming at the beach with my family.

Firefighter Dustin Palmore

Dustin Palmore headshotDustin Palmore joined the Brenham Fire Department in January of 2023. Dustin served 6 years with the College Station Fire Department before joining the B.F.D. He also was a Texas A&M Forest Service employee for just under 2 years at the Carthage office. Dustin has 3 children, Chet, Sam, and Kip. On his days off, Dustin enjoys coaching little league baseball and soccer, along with being involved in other activities that his kids are involved in. Dustin went to fire school at TEEX and got his paramedic certification through the Blinn EMS program.

 

C Shift

Captain of C Shift Brett SchroederBrett Schroeder headshot

Schroeder joined the Brenham Fire Department as a volunteer in 2001. He is a lifelong resident of Brenham and is a 2000 Graduate of Brenham High School. Schroeder is also a graduate of Texas A&M Fire Academy in 2001. He promoted in June of 2003 to an Apparatus Operator. Then promoted to C Shift Captain in 2016 Schroeder. He handles all fleet maintenance and small engine maintenance. He currently holds the Texas Commission on Fire Protection Advanced Certification, Driver operator, Wildland firefighter, Hazmat operations, fire officer one and two, Emergency Vehicle Tech., and Instructor I Certifications. Schroeder was named Fire Fighter of the year in 2014. Schroeder also plays a key role in the department's design team on new apparatus since 2006.

Schroeder and his wife Jennifer were married in August of 2006. Schroeder and his wife love spending time at the coast or just being outdoors and spending time with their pets.

Lieutenant Justin SchroederJustin Schroeder headshot

Schroeder is a graduate of Brenham High School class of 2004. He attended TEEX Recruit Academy #117 and EMT Basic in 2005. Schroeder began his fire service career in 2010 with the Brenham Fire Department as an Apparatus Operator. Schroeder Promoted to A Shift Lieutenant in 2017.

Schroeder holds Intermediate Fire Fighter, EMT-Basic, Basic Wildland, Instructor1, and Fire officer 2 certifications.

Schroeder Married Janice in 2009 and they have 2 children Jaxon and Jase. Schroeder enjoys spending time with family and the outdoors.

Apparatus Operator Rhye MoschakRhye Moschak headshot

Rhye joined the fire department in 2013 as a volunteer until he promoted to apparatus operator in January 2017. Rhye graduated from Brenham High School in 2011. In 2013, Rhye attended the first fire academy class BFD-001 at the Brenham Fire Department. He holds a basic certification thru the Texas Commission on Fire Protection. Rhye is married to Amy Moschak. In their spare time, they enjoy being outside fishing or hunting and being with friends and family. Rhye and Amy were married in August 2017.

Apparatus Operator James (J.C.) KnipsteinJC Knipstein headshot

James (J.C.) Knipstein is a lifelong resident of Brenham and joined the department as a volunteer in 2011. J.C. worked as a Houston Firefighter/EMT for 8 years before being hired on in Brenham, full-time in February 2020. J.C. is a 1999 graduate of Brenham High School and a 2006 graduate of the University of North Texas. J.C. and his wife Tara and have 4 children, 3 boys, and one girl, and spent their time going to the numerous sporting events the kids are in.

 

Firefighter Kaleb Kelley

Kaleb Kelly headshotKaleb was born and raised in central Texas. He graduated from Wimberley High School in 2013. Kaleb Joined the fire service as a volunteer for Martindale Fire Rescue after completing TEEX Fire Recruit Academy in July of 2017. He began his professional firefighting career with the Kyle Fire Department in August of 2018, where he served for three and a half years before moving to Brenham Texas. He then worked a few months for the city of College Station before making the decision to apply with the city of Brenham. Kaleb Joined the Brenham fire department family January 5th of 2023.

Kaleb married his wife Hilary in June of 2020. He and His wife moved to Brenham to start her career as a veterinarian. They have made the Brenham community theirs to live and serve in. They are members of Grace Community fellowship Brenham. They both enjoy being in the outdoors, building projects, and relaxing with friends.  

Firefighter Darreck Kenjura

Darreck Kenjura headshotDarreck is a lifelong resident of Brenham and graduated from Brenham High School in 2004. Darreck began his career in the fire service in 2016 as a volunteer with the Meyersville Volunteer Fire Department and is still with them in that capacity. In 2017 he completed the Brenham Fire Department recruit academy class 005. In 2019 he got his EMT-B and started working at CHI St. Joseph Regional Health EMS, mostly in Burleson County, but has worked in all areas they operate in. Darreck still works on the ambulance PRN. Darreck holds basic certifications in both structural firefighting and rescue, as well as advanced certifications in wildland firefighting. In 2021 Darreck married the love of his life, and best friend Ashley. They like to spend their free time going fishing, watching live music, or going on adventures around Texas.