Bay Edition - August 2021

PEOPLE GaryWarren Former League City Fire Department chief After more than six years as League City’s re chief and 48 years as a re- ghter, Gary Warren retired July 30. Warren helped the department reduce response times and recruit members to department, among other accomplish- ments. Michael Lugo from Argyle, Texas, is League City’s new re chief. Warren spoke with Community Impact Newspaper about his time with the department. His answers have been edited for length and clarity.

BY JAKE MAGEE

have like 18 miles of waterfront along Clear Creek and Clear Lake, and along that waterfront is just millions and millions of dollars’ worth of property. And [we had] no re boat. And so almost immediately, I started asking for a re boat. There was no money for it, and so every year I was working on trying to get a re boat. I applied for grants from [the Federal Emergency Management Agency] and from the re administration to give me a grant, … so now we have a 30-foot ... all-hazards boat. WHATWILL YOUMISSMOST ABOUT BEING LCFD’S CHIEF? What I’ll miss the most is the peo- ple. I think that’s always the answer you get from anybody is you’ll miss the people. … I realized I was going to miss talking to all the directors in the city, too. They’re all good people, and they’ve worked really hard to try to take care of the citizens. Anybody that cares that much is going be a good person anyway, so I’ll miss all of them. I’ll miss the reghters, too, because I have never seen a re department like this, and ... I’ve seen

THE DEPARTMENT HAS SEEN SUBSTANTIAL GROWTH IN VOLUNTEERS. WHATWAS YOUR ROLE IN THAT? What you have to do is sell [the vol- unteers] on dierent ideas, and I sold them on the fact that if they wanted to remain [a] volunteer [department], it would be really important for the department to grow with their membership so they’d be able to keep up because eventually we’re going to have to add another station to the southwest; we’re going need to be able to put reghters there. And they agreed, and so I talked to city manager, [and] we got more money for recruiting, but I think

the biggest help was when [Director of Communications] Sarah [Greer Osborne] came along with her skills. …We have a district chief, Daniel Gibbs, who decided to take it on, and he and Sarah got together, and I guess they just really formed a real good team, and the word got out, and people started answering the call, and the last two years have been the best recruiting years that this department has ever had. WHAT OTHER ACCOMPLISH MENTS AT LCFDARE YOUMOST PROUDOF? When I rst got here, … the most glaring gap that I saw was that we

Gary Warren

all kinds. But this has got to be one of the most unique and rarest re departments I’ve ever seen. For the size of this department, which is like 182 members right now, working at a city that’s probably over 115,000 people, that’s totally volunteer [based] and still able to get an ISO 1 rating, [the highest the Insurance Services Oce can give a department for its services]—I would venture to say there’s not a department like that anywhere in the world.

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BAY AREA EDITION • AUGUST 2021

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