Temple Fire & Rescue Chief Lonzo Wallace (City of Temple photo)
TEMPLE (September 5, 2013)--After almost 40 years in the fire service, and the last 13 as chief of Temple Fire & Rescue, Lonzo Wallace announced Wednesday he'll retire in October.
Wallace, who came to Temple as chief in 2000, announced he'll hang up his bunker gear for the last time on Oct. 17.
Wallace, 60, served more than 26 years with the Fort Worth Fire Department, according to a news release issued Wednesday by the Temple department.
"It's been a privilege to serve the citizens of Temple,” said Wallace, who also serves as Temple's emergency management coordinator.
"The support of the Mayor, City Council and the city managements understanding of the importance of a well-trained and properly equipped fire department give me and my team the resources to make Temple Fire & Rescue one of the best in the nation," he said.
"It's been an honor and a privilege to lead the hardworking and talented members of this department who strive every day to provide the best care to people in our city as well as surrounding areas," Wallace said.
Under Wallace's leadership, TFR's first comprehensive study was conducted to identify future long term needs for the fire department.
Wallace was born in Mertens, in Hill County, and graduated from Bynum High School in 1971.
He later graduated with an associate of arts degree from Hill Junior College and following that graduated from Dallas Baptist University where he earned a Bachelor of Career Arts, and a Master of Arts degree in organizational management.
He is certified by the Texas Commission on Fire Protection as a Master Firefighter, Basic Inspector, Fire Service Instructor II, and a Hazardous Materials Technician.
Bond issues approved by Temple voters in 2002 and 2008 allowed the fire department to keep pace with city growth and demand for services, Wallace said.
The department expanded, adding an eighth fire station which also serves as the department's Fire Training Center and the city's Emergency Operations Center while three older fire stations including Central Station were replaced with new energy efficient building.
As the city's Emergency Management Coordinator, Wallace implemented a new Outdoor Warning Siren System approved by voters in a 2002 Bond election.
Wallace says he plans to enjoy spending time with those who are the most important in his life, his wife Nell, his parents, children, grandchildren, family members and friends.
He says he will also spend time making improvements to his ranch.
A reception will be held in his honor from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 4 at Temple’s Central Fire Station at 210 North 3rd St.