Grand Marshal Information
Our 2017 Grand Marshal is Chief Rudy Jackson!
The Fort Worth Fire Department is led by Fire Chief Rudolph “Rudy” Jackson, Jr. Chief Jackson was selected by the City Manager and confirmed by the City Council on March 20, 2007, following a nationwide search. He was chosen from among fifty applicants after an intensive interview process. Jackson is Fort Worth’s 12th Fire Chief since the City went to a professional fire service in 1893.
At the time of his appointment as Fire Chief, Jackson had been serving as the interim Fire Chief since September 23, 2006, due to the sudden death of then Fire Chief L. Charles Gaines. Jackson served as a Deputy Fire Chief in the Gaines administration.
A proud native of Fort Worth, and a graduate of Everman High School, Chief Jackson began his fire service career with the Fort Worth Fire Department in 1982 and rose through the ranks. He promoted to Engineer/Driver in 1988, Lieutenant in 1991, Captain in 1994, and Battalion Chief in 1997. Jackson gained valuable experience during his service in the Operations Division, which is responsible for mitigating fire and other emergency incidents.
In 2000, Jackson was assigned to his first staff position, as the Department’s Chief Training Officer, where he was responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Educational Services Division – Training Section. His duties included oversight of the recruitment and hiring process, the training of recruit firefighters, the continuing education of veteran firefighters, and the physical fitness and safety program.
Jackson was assigned to the Bureau of Fire Prevention in 2005, as the Fire Marshal for the City of Fort Worth. There he oversaw the commercial inspection program, and the planning, design, and inspection review for various fire safety aspects of new and existing construction.
In 2006, Jackson was appointed to the rank of Deputy Chief by his predecessor, Fire Chief Charles Gaines. He was assigned to head the Department’s Educational and Support Services Division. This assignment included the responsibility for the Training Section, Supply Section, Vehicle Services Section, and the Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) Section.
During Chief Jackson’s administration many accomplishments have been achieved. Notable among them are:
- The City’s Public Protection Classification rating improved in 2007 from a rating of a three (3) to a two (2), as assigned by the Insurance Services Office (ISO). The ISO rating is based on a number of factors including training, staffing, number of fire stations, equipment dispatched to fires, equipment on trucks, fire prevention, investigation, fire safety education, construction code enforcement, hydrant maintenance, water supply, and the ability of the 9-1-1 call center to answer and dispatch calls.
- The addition of four new fire stations in the far north section of the City. The population in this area of the City continues to experience record growth and additional territory was added through annexation. Stations 38, 11, 34, and 41 were added to ensure emergency services could be delivered in a timely manner.
- The relocation of Station 27 and Station 5. Fort Worth Fire Station 27 had been housed in a building in Hurst, TX since the 1960’s. Fort Worth Fire personnel moved into a new fire station in Fort Worth in 2010, located at the corner of Precinct Line Rd and Trinity Boulevard. Redevelopment of the Evans Avenue/Rosedale Street corridor made it necessary to move Station 5 a few blocks south to 850 Irma Street.
- The creation of a new rank of Division Chief, which falls between the ranks of Battalion Chief and Deputy Chief. Division Chiefs are selected by appointment of the Fire Chief. In 2011, Chief Jackson appointed three Division Chiefs as Shift Commanders in the Operations Division and one Administrative Division Chief to head the Office of Emergency Management.
- The implementation of new hiring procedures that include the use of groupings to allow more flexibility and a broader candidate pool.
- The approval and start of construction of a new Public Safety Training Center. This $100 million project, set for completion in 2015, will relocate the current Fire and Police Training Center to the former GSA property on Felix Street.
Chief Jackson holds the following degrees and certifications: Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Business Administration from Dallas Baptist University; Associate of Arts degree from Ranger Junior College; State certified Emergency Medical Technician; Master Firefighter, Master Fire Inspector, and Master Fire Service Instructor with the Texas Commission on Fire Protection. Additionally, he is a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer Program conducted through the United States Fire Administration – National Fire Academy.
Chief Jackson and his wife, Lisa, are the proud parents of three children, Delya, Rudolph “Trey” Jackson III, and Quinton.