A new fire chief for the Westlake Fire-EMS Department has been selected.

John Ard, formerly the assistant fire chief, was sworn in at the Sept. 25 Westlake Town Council meeting, according to a town news release.

The background

Ard takes over following the tenure of Richard Whitten, who retired in August. Whitten had been the fire chief for 14 years. Ard has been serving as interim fire chief since Whitten's departure, according to a news release. He served as second in command and fire marshal for the town of Westlake for the past seven years and has nearly three decades of public service experience.

Career history

Before coming to Westlake, Ard served in Arlington and Southlake, according to information from the city. His fire service career began in 2002 with the city of Southlake as a fire inspector working in the fire marshal office. Since that time, he has served many roles and positions including as fire investigator, peace officer, arson investigator, juvenile fire setter interventionist, firefighter/paramedic, driver/engineer, fire marshal and deputy chief.

Ard is a member of the Northeast Fire Department Association, where he serves on the operations committee. He also serves as a member of the Tarrant County Fire Chiefs Association, the Tarrant County Arson Task Force, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the International Association of Arson Investigators, the North Central Texas Council of Governments Fire Advisory Board and the National Fire Protection Association.

He earned an associate degree in fire science from Columbia Southern University in Orange Beach Alabama, a bachelor’s degree in fire service administration from Columbia Southern University and a master’s degree in public administration from Stephen F. Austin State University. Ard is an adjunct instructor at Tarrant County College Fire Service Training Center.

Also of note

He has been married for over 31 years to Tammy Ard, and they have three adult children: Justin, Kayla and Cameron Ard. He enjoys spending time with his family, exercising, cycling and riding motorcycles.