The hire comes after a nationwide search ended with the decision to hire Austin Fire Department's Division Chief in Operations Palmer Buck, who has served 26 years with that department, according to the release. Benson announced his retirement April 24, and Doug Adams was named acting chief in the interim until the new chief takes over.
“We look forward to having Chief Buck come to The Woodlands with his wealth of knowledge, experience and leadership,” said Don Norrell, president and general manager of The Woodlands Township, in the release. “Chief Buck has 37 years of experience in all aspects of the fire service and is a proven leader with extensive operations and command experience.”
Among his achievements are membership in the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the National Fire Protection Agency, the National Society of Executive Fire Officers and the International Association of Firefighters, according to the release. His previous experience includes service in Texas and North Carolina as a paramedic and a firefighter as well as a public information officer.
“I am honored to have been selected as Fire Chief to serve the residents of The Woodlands and lead The Woodlands Fire Department, continuing the history of dedicated leadership provided by former Chief Benson and Interim Chief Doug Adams,” Buck said in a statement. “I look forward to working together with the men and women of The Woodlands Fire Department to face the challenges of the next decade and beyond.”
Buck will begin his new position Dec. 2.
An item on The Woodlands Township board of directors agenda for its Oct. 17 meeting calls for a discussion of a possible second squad for the fire department at the request of director Carol Stromatt. The meeting begins at 4 p.m. at 2801 Technology Forest Blvd., The Woodlands.