Eric Hicks has been appointed as the City of Brownwood Fire Chief/EMC. Hicks’ public safety experience spans more than 30 years. He began his fire service career as a volunteer firefighter in 1987. In January of 1989, Hicks was hired by the DeKalb, IL Fire Department as a Firefighter/Paramedic where he served until November 30, 2018, when he retired as Fire Chief, a position he held for seven years. As Fire Chief, he was responsible for fire suppression, rescue, emergency medical services, fire prevention, public education, and specialized operations for a 60-member department. In the DeKalb Fire Department, Hicks held the rank of Fire Chief, Battalion Chief Shift/Commander, Battalion Chief/Training Officer, Captain, Lieutenant/Paramedic, Lieutenant/Fire Prevention Officer, and Firefighter/Paramedic.
Hicks holds an Associate Degree in Fire Science and is a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program. He received a Paramedic license in 1989 and holds numerous other Fire Service Certifications.
DeKalb is a rural community of about 44,000. They have a university, a hospital, and a 3M facility. The DeKalb Fire Department has three stations with a 55 square mile service area.
Hicks built excellent partnerships in DeKalb with the city, school district, university and Chamber of Commerce. He is described by his colleagues as having an excellent work ethic and humility.
Along with his wife, Kathy, Hicks moved to Texas to be closer to their three adult children who reside in Texas. They have been married for 31 years and currently live in Whitehouse, TX.
The hiring process was extensive. Twenty-two applications were received, and eight candidates were interviewed. Three finalists were interviewed a second time and performed skills tests. The Interview Panel was made up of Mayor Stephen Haynes, Councilman Walker Willey, Brownwood Professional Firefighters Association Vice President Justin Cadenhead, Fire Administrator Gwen Stone, and City Manager Emily Crawford.
City Manager Emily Crawford recommended Eric Hicks to the City Council and remarked, “Chief Hicks is a service-minded leader who has experience in every level of municipal firefighting and emergency response. I look forward to Eric and Kathy joining our community.”
Hicks will begin as the Brownwood Fire Chief/EMC on January 2, or as soon as the Texas Commission on Fire Protection finalizes his credentials.