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Mesquite, TX – July 21, 2020 – The City of Mesquite has announced that Mark Kerby will retire as Fire Chief on September 30 to begin a new role as the Special Projects Director. Kerby has been with the City since 1985 and has served as Fire Chief since 2003.
Fire Chef Mark Kerby said, “After 35 years in the fire service, I feel it is time to move to a different role with the City. We have recently completed several major projects in the Fire Department and I feel that this is a good time for a transition for both the City and myself. It has been a true honor to serve with the men and women of the Mesquite Fire Department. We have grown into one of the most respected fire departments in Texas and that is largely due to the commitment of the members of this department.”
Kerby indicated that his new role as Special Projects Director will allow him to use his years of experience and knowledge to help the City complete important construction and community projects that were previously under the direction of outgoing Deputy City Manager Jeff Jones who has been hired as the President/General Manager of The Woodlands.
Under Kerby’s leadership as Fire Chief, Mesquite maintained an Insurance Services Office rating of 1 which is the highest attainable level. Kerby led the efforts to develop the Citizens Fire Academy and Fire Corps programs. The Mesquite Fire Corps is a volunteer program whose members support the fire department and are active in various community service projects. The Fire Department recently completed the construction of new Fire Station No. 4 which replaced a 1960’s era station. Kerby also guided the implementation of a cancer prevention program for his firefighters which now includes additional bunker gear as well as cleaning equipment for the fire fighters’ clothing and equipment.
City Manager Cliff Keheley stated, “Mark’s service as Fire Chief has been exemplary. He implemented numerous programs focused on fire fighter health and safety, and has always been a strong advocate for his staff. Mesquite is a better and safer place to live due to Mark’s dedication and commitment to the Mesquite Fire Department.” Keheley did confirm that he will begin the hiring process immediately to select the next Fire Chief.
Kerby is a graduate of the four-year Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy, and recently earned his Masters of Public Affairs degree from the University of Texas at Dallas.