Stephenville resident Dallas B. Sims is the new fire chief at the Erath County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department.

Sims, 40, graduated Tarleton State University in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture. He received his master's degree in public administration in 2016. He also completed the National Fire Academyís Managing Officer Program (MOP), which is the second highest fire certification in the nation.

Sims took the time to answer questions about his firefighter history and what heís most looking forward to in his new position.

Q. Where are you from?

A. I grew up in San Antonio. I moved to Stephenville in 1999 to attend Tarleton State University. This was the first place that felt like home so I never wanted to leave.

Q. Can you tell me about your firefighter history?

A. I am a volunteer at heart. My family and 4-H instilled volunteerism into my character. In 2003, I heard a radio advertisement that volunteers were needed for a volunteer fire department. I raised my hand to the single most life changing event in life. Following the visionaries and leaders like Chris Gable, Kenneth Howell, F.H. Croft, Tommy Shelton, and Steve Cole that started and (led) Erath County Volunteer Fire Rescue (ECVFR), I was inspired to seek a career in the fire service. I was hired by Dallas Fire Rescue in 2008. I currently serve as a lieutenant at Station 18 in downtown Dallas. Station 18 is the busiest station in the city with 980 calls in the last month.

Q. How does it feel to be the new volunteer fire chief of Erath County?

A. Honored. I was given the highest honor by my peers to serve as their fire chief.

Q. What are you most looking forward to in your new position?

A. I am excited to guide ECVFR to be an example in professionalism, competence, and commitment for other departments in our county, throughout the state of Texas and across the nation.

Q. What are your goals in your new position?

A. My goal is to develop our firefighters and all firefighters with whom we respond. This will be accomplished by strengthening relationships and agreements, multi-agency trainings, and providing, encouraging and requiring firefighter education at each level.

Q. Are you married or do you have kids?

A. I am married to Amanda Sims from Arlington, Texas. Amanda is the assistant director of business services at Tarleton. My son Ryder is 11 and my daughter Addison is 8. It is because of my familyís sacrifice of our time together I can commit myself to the fire service. That is the story of every committed volunteer firefighter. Fire families have to deal with last minute cancelled plans, firefighter dark humor to deal with the things they see and all the things that accompany lack of sleep. Donít thank me for my service. Thank the families for their sacrifice.