The city of New Braunfels on March 18 announced Ruy Lozano has been selected as the next New Braunfels Fire Department fire chief.

Officials began a nationwide search after former city Fire Chief Patrick O’Connell retired in September. O’Connell worked in public service for 28 years, 16 of which were with the NBFD.

After more than five months of searching was conducted in partnership with Strategic Government Resources, an executive recruitment firm, two candidates were named as finalists for the position and visited New Braunfels for in-person interviews and community tours March 9-10.

Lozano, a 25-year veteran of the Houston Fire Department, where he was an assistant fire chief; and Gregory Rodgers, assistant fire chief for the city of Schertz, who has served in the fire service for 39 years, were announced as the finalists.

“We were impressed with the qualifications and experience of both candidates, but after careful review, Lozano was selected as the best person to lead the New Braunfels Fire Department,” New Braunfels City Manager Robert Camareno said in a press release.

Lozano has a bachelor’s degree in communications, a master's in business administration and is a veteran of the U.S. Army Reserves. He is also a Texas Commission on Fire Protection Master Firefighter and Fire Instructor.

The NBFD is expected to open two new fire stations this year, Camareno said, and has plans to continue growing as the population of the city expands.

“I am honored to have been selected as fire chief for the New Braunfels Fire Department,” Lozano said in the press release. “I am excited to be a part of the city’s prospering future, while protecting New Braunfels as a national treasure.”