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Next Steps for the Brenham Fire Department

Today, Friday, October 20, 2023, the Brenham City Council met in consultation with the City Attorney regarding the Brenham Fire Department after the retirement announcement of Assistant Chief Brian Scheffer and the resignation of Fire Chief Roger Williams.

Scheffer began his journey with the Brenham Fire Department at a very young age, as his dad, James Scheffer, joined in May 1980 when Brian was just three years old. He was immersed in the fire department culture early and even served as the department mascot in 1985. It was this culture that he loved most about the fire department and the sense of family and camaraderie. Scheffer said, “Firefighters are known for their willingness to help others at any time, and this has been one of the most rewarding aspects of the job for me – providing service to my community.” In the coming weeks, Scheffer will transition to a new role as a Regional Training Coordinator for Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX). He wishes to express his gratitude “to the City Council, City Management, and the community for the opportunity to serve for 26 years.”

The City of Brenham invites the public to his retirement recognition on November 2, 2023, during the City Council meeting, with a retirement reception to follow at the Fireman’s Training Center.

Assistant Chief Brian Scheffer is the Emergency Management Coordinator (EMC) for the City of Brenham.  Pursuant to state law, the local jurisdiction designates the EMC which is responsible for disaster preparedness and coordination of response.  This person also works closely with the Texas Department of Emergency Management. For an interim period, Washington County has agreed to partner with the City of Brenham for emergency management coordination.

To address the vacancy for the Brenham Fire Chief after the resignation of Roger Williams, the City is working with an organization that specializes in interim governmental staffing. The current Fire Captains, Andrew Joswiak, Josh Sebastian, and Brett Schroeder will continue in their capacity with day-to-day responsibility for department shifts.

City Manager Carolyn Miller stated, “I’m so appreciative of the continued support and dedication of our fire department and for their commitment to our community, as well as how our City Council continues to invest in the Brenham Fire Department.” During FY23, staffing on each shift was increased from five to six crew members, and three additional firefighters are included in the FY24 budget, which will bring the total per shift to seven. The City also purchased a new pumper, priced at almost $900,000, and is scheduled for delivery in mid-2024. And, Fire Station #2 is progressing with construction to begin in mid-2024.