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Nueces County looks to hire fire marshal under strict guidelines

The job has been vacant since former fire marshal Jose Olivares resigned in May
Posted at 8:59 PM, Aug 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-25 07:06:20-04

CORPUS CHRISTI — Nueces County Commissioners Court approved new requirements for their fire marshal.

The job has been vacant since former fire marshal Jose Olivares stepped down in May.

A six investigates story revealed Olivares did not have the qualifications to do the job.

“Channel six played a key role in this and many other things that have gone on in the county that, quite frankly, I wouldn’t have been aware of or many people wouldn’t have been aware of because they weren’t being followed properly and so channel six played a key role in that without a doubt,” Nueces County Precinct 4 Commissioner, Brent Chesney said.

Chesney said, with help from Annaville Fire Chief Michael Clack and new ESD # 2 Fire Chief Weston Beseda, commissioners court added some requirements and mandatory certifications to the job description that weren’t clarified before.

One of the biggest changes included certain fire protection certifications that are required to even get the job.

Previously, candidates only had to have a basic peace officer certification.

The new fire marshal must coordinate county-wide incident planning and assessment program, direct employees and volunteers along with volunteers with the fire corps. in gathering property, hazardous materials and hazardous process information from all county properties.

Additionally, they would have to coordinate with ESD’s who have certified personnel to assist with or conduct inspections or investigations.

They must also be a member of the Nueces County Fire Chief’s Association.

Chesney said the job will be posted online where fire professionals are likely to see it.

“We’re hoping with the additional posting in the additional places that fire people really look at that we will get some well qualified applications,” Chesney said. “And, if we don’t, we will not settle for someone who is not qualified. We will regroup again and figure out how to do it.”

Commissioners created the fire marshal position in 2019 and Olivares was hired by Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales in November 2020.

At the time, Olivares did not have any fire training or fire experience.

He was given six months to obtain fire certifications, which he did not six investigates discovered he did not have any fire training or experience and was given 6 months to obtain fire certifications, which he did not.