New fire chief named
From staff reports
Plano City Manager Bruce Glasscock has announced that Brian Crawford, current assistant chief administrative officer for the city of Shreveport, La., has been named Plano's new fire chief.
Crawford was selected from three finalists, including Dennis Rubin, former fire chief in Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, and Robert Isbell, current fire chief in Midland, who is also currently serving as president of the Texas Fire Chief's Association. Glasscock described the decision as "incredibly difficult, with three exceptionally well-qualified finalists, any one of which are capable of leading almost any fire department in the nation."
In Shreveport, Crawford oversees a $500 million operating budget. Crawford has been working for Shreveport for 28 years, starting as a firefighter and working his way up to fire chief before being promoted to assistant chief administrative officer.
As fire chief, Crawford was responsible for 22 fire stations and over 600 personnel. He also has extensive emergency management experience with a variety of major events including hurricanes Katrina, Gustav, and Ike, as well as serving as Commander of the USAR Louisiana Task Force 1 operations in Tuscaloosa, Ala. following the F4 tornado in 2011. He was also asked to participate in the Charleston, S.C. Post-Incident Review Team following a tragedy in which nine firefighters lost their lives.
Crawford is active in community and volunteer activities, including the local Salvation Army, the Shreveport/Bossier City Rescue Mission and the Northwest Louisiana Red Cross. He holds a bachelor's degree in organizational management and a master's degree in organizational psychology. He is also a graduate of the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer program and the Harvard University Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program.
When asked what drew him to Plano, Crawford said the city has "a clear commitment to excellence and investment in Plano Fire Rescue by its citizens, elected and appointed officials, as well as the leadership and members of the fire department."
"In fire service circles, Plano is considered an exceptionally well developed, disciplined and professional department, and its reputation and that of its former and current leaders precede it," he said.
City Manager Bruce Glasscock described Crawford as "an exceptional leader who had impressed everyone he came into contact with during what was an incredibly rigorous selection process." SGR Executive Search identified 48 qualified candidates who were interested in the position from 21 different states. Before the three finalists were selected, they completed a comprehensive questionnaire; participated in online interviews; had legal, civil and criminal background checks conducted on them; had comprehensive media searches conducted; and completed two psychometric assessments. Extensive reference checks were also conducted.
Assistant City Manager Lashon Ross, who oversees public safety and other departments for the city, expressed enthusiasm for Crawford's selection and said she felt he was "Exactly the right leader to help us take the Plano Fire Department to the next level."
Ross said while all interview panels were impressed with all three finalists, it was clear that Crawford was "an exceptional leader who was the right fit for Plano at this point in our history."
Crawford is expected to take over the reins of the department on December 3.