Parker County commissioners hired Sean Hughes as the new full time fire marshal and emergency management coordinator who will work in addition to the current part time fire marshal and EMC positions.
“We had put together a committee of key people — not just from Parker County, but also the Metroplex — to vet the applications and use their expertise to help in the hiring and interview process,” County Judge Pat Deen said. “So we narrowed it down to two people from the numerous applicants that applied and we interviewed both and had a very hard time with both candidates being very qualified. But clearly Sean was just an outstanding choice and will be a great addition to Parker County.”
Hughes has a MS in fire science from Grand Canyon University and a BAAS in emergency management from the University of North Texas. He is also a certified emergency manager, which he was awarded from the National Emergency Management Association, and is a licensed paramedic and has a general class amateur radio operator license.
“I’m very excited and look forward to being in Parker County,” Hughes said. “I bring experience with disasters and a large network, both on the emergency management and the fire side. This will be my 35th year in the fire service and my 25th year in emergency management. I am a certified emergency manager through the [NEMA], so that’s a designation through that organization where peers have looked through my work, my contributions and certifications, and they have awarded me that designation as a CEM.”
The county’s part-time fire marshal Kurt Harris said he is happy with the hiring of Hughes.
“Mr. Hughes is a wonderful candidate and should be a very good EM/FM for Parker County. I am excited and look forward to Mr. Hughes coming in and starting his career with the county,” part-time county Fire Marshal Kurt Harris said. “I think Mr. Hughes will be a benefit to the county as he comes with a load of experience and has worked with cities that have been through what Parker County is now going through.”
Hughes’ responsibilities will include ensuring the county emergency response plan is update continually; preparing and/or implementing detail mitigation studies that identify operation procedures; coordinating emergency response activities with state, county and municipal authorities; serving as the county liaison for disasters at the County Emergency Operation Center; working with school districts on fire drill and tornado drill evacuation plans as well as “sheltering in place” plans; and conducting arson investigations.
“We’re really excited to get somebody at this caliber with this experience as a leader to build that program back to what it needs to be to meet the growth of this county,” Deen said. “The most important thing here is to focus on public safety and dealing with emergencies and tragedies that could happen if we’re not prepared. Our commitment is to public safety and this demonstrates that. We’re just really excited to have Sean on board to start building a program both on the fire marshal side and the emergency management side.”
Hughes’ position will be in addition to the the part time fire marshal held by Harris and part time emergency coordinator position held by George Teague.
“Mr. Hughes has worked multiple declared disasters. He has developed, managed and completed multiple grant projects and managed multiple radio systems. He is a CERT Master Trainer and currently works for TEEX in College Station as a training specialist, but has worked as a fire chief for the city of Hutchins and the city of Copperas Cove,” Harris said. “Additionally, Mr. Hughes worked as a division fire chief in North Richland Hills and before that was a firefighter/EMT with the city of Mansfield. I think Parker County is lucky to find a person with Mr. Hughes' qualifications at a time like this. We are very fortunate.”