Tommy Shelton is Erath County's new fire marshal.

Shelton grew up in Erath County and graduated from Stephenville High School. He graduated from Tarleton State University with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and became a police officer in 1990.

But eventually, Shelton began leaning toward becoming a firefighter.

He was a fireman for the DFW Airport Fire Rescue for 20 years and for the community of Stephenville, both paid and volunteer, for the past 30 years.

He is also a founding member of the Erath County Volunteer Fire Rescue.

“Even though I have a criminal justice degree, I still tend to lean towards [the] fire department,” Shelton said. “I really enjoy fighting fires. I have a background in fire and police, [but] in this job, both of those jobs come together, [the] fire department and police department come together.”

His job title is fire marshal/environmental and he “can do anything from investigating and inspecting fires to dumping.”

“Of course, it’s another challenge. I’m late in my career so this will be my last job and I enjoy working in this county; it’s home, and this will be a perfect spot to finish my career,” he said.

When asked what made him interested in becoming a firefighter, Shelton said, “You gotta be crazy to be a firefighter.”

“People are trying to run out of the building on fire and I'm trying to run in it. That ought to tell you the mindset of a fireman,” he said, laughing. “It’s an exciting job and you do good things. You help people.”