Belton: Council OKs new fire chief

After a six-month nationwide search, the City of Belton has found its next fire chief. City Manager Sam Listi recommended Tomball Assistant Fire Chief of Operations and Training Jonathon Fontenot for the job and Tuesday evening the city council approved the choice. (City of Belton photo)

BELTON, Texas (KWTX) The Belton City Council Tuesday gave it’s OK to hiring the city’s new fire chief.

After a six-month nationwide search City Manager Sam Listi recommended Tomball Assistant Fire Chief of Operations and Training Jonathon Fontenot for the job and Tuesday evening the council approved the choice.

Fontenot’s first day on the job will be June 15, he said.

He succeeds Chief Bruce Pritchard, who retired last fall.

Pritchard spent 32 years in the fire service, 29 of them in Belton and served as chief from July 2015, when he was named interim chief and then appointed as the permanent successor to former Chief Francisco Corona.

Fontenot, a Taylor native and U.S. Army veteran, has been assistant chief in Tomball for 10 years.

Before that he was an instructor in the fire program at Austin Community College and served as the emergency management coordinator and interim chief in Taylor.

He also served as chief of training for a fire and emergency service contractor in Iraq.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in fire administration and a master’s degree in public administration.

“I am extremely grateful for this opportunity to join the City’s leadership team,” Fontenot said.

“I look forward to leading a fire department that is known for its professionalism and excellence.”

Assistant Belton Fire Chief Wesley Gilbreath has served as interim chief since Pritchard’s retirement.