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Commerce loses services of fire chief

Scott Harvey

COMMERCE - Fire Chief Brian McNevin, who was hired in 2008, says he’s the finalist for the same job in another Texas city. On Tuesday, City Manager Marc Clayton indicated this was McNevin’s last council meeting.

McNevin would not disclose which city he was leaving for, noting that contract talks are underway.

“It’s been a very active four years,” said McNevin, whose career in emergency services and emergency management has surpassed 38 years.

McNevin was here upon the arrival of a 75-foot Quint, or ladder truck, capable of reaching the tops of the tallest buildings in town and equipped with the compressed air foam (CAFS) feature. The truck was the product of a joint university-city effort finalized during the tenure of former Fire Chief Tommy Eaton, with A&M-Commerce funding $220,000, or one-third the cost of the $670,000 truck. It's the first vehicle dispatched for all emergency calls.

McNevin has been able to obtain numerous grants to aid both firefighters and citizens, including $732,000 to develop a program to increase volunteer firefighters and $10,000 toward educating residents on fire prevention, juvenile fire setter interventions and arson prevention.

A native of Texarkana, Texas, McNevin came to Commerce from the Southern Stone County Fire District in southern Missouri where he served as deputy chief.

McNevin’s departure is the third among civic leaders within the past week. On Monday, the Commerce ISD Board accepted the resignation of A.C. Williams Elementary School Principal Wes Underwood, which came just days after the announced resignation of High School Principal Virdie Montgomery.


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