City of Lufkin announces new fire chief

City of Lufkin announces new fire chief
Twenty-six year Lufkin Fire veteran Jesse Moody has been chosen as the department’s new fire chief. (Source: City of Lufkin)

LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Twenty-six year Lufkin Fire veteran Jesse Moody has been chosen as the department’s new fire chief.

Moody had his final interview with city officials yesterday, according to city spokesperson Jessica Pebsworth, impressing them with his extensive knowledge of Lufkin Fire Department’s inner workings, forward thinking and vision for the future.

“In the application and interview process, we felt that Jesse Moody’s level of experience and internal knowledge was unbeatable,” City Manager Keith Wright said. “He can hit the ground running and give us the best opportunity to build upon our past successes while taking the department to the next level.”

The search for a new chief began in July with more than 40 candidates from around the U.S. and beyond including New York, California, Minnesota – even Antarctica.

The initial applicants were screened by a recruiting firm out of Dallas – Southwest Leadership. Southwest Leadership is led by Todd Renshaw, a 32-year public safety veteran who served 19 years as Frisco’s police chief. Renshaw had the 12 semi-finalists scrutinized by a board of fire chiefs from across the state and narrowed the search to three finalists.

Before the final interview, the three finalists underwent leadership assessments developed by Dr. Riley Harvill of Leader Select LLC – a Southwest Leadership partner.

“Dr. Harvill’s assessment told us things that would not have been easily determined through the standard application process,” Director of Public Safety Gerald Williamson said. “Knowing those strengths and weaknesses allowed us to tailor each interview to specifically address those areas.”

Moody began his career with Lufkin Fire in 1993, climbing the ranks from firefighter/paramedic to fire chief. The last role he served in was battalion chief.

“I feel honored to be chosen as Lufkin’s newest fire chief,” Moody said. “I’m looking forward to the challenges that come with it.”

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