Ad Spot

Decision on Port Arthur fire chief pushed to next week

Nearly two weeks after city leaders interviewed three candidates for the vacant Port Arthur Fire Chief position, a decision has yet to be formally made.

City Manager Ron Burton told Port Arthur Newsmedia last week that the decision would need to be placed on a council meeting agenda in order for the council to discuss the hiring.

Mayor Thurman Bartie said on Friday that Burton’s department is in charge of replacing the chief.

Burton on Friday was out of the office and unavailable for comment.

The three candidates vying for the position left open by the retirement of longtime chief Larry Richard include current interim chief Robert Havens; former Victorville, California fire chief Greg Benson; and Terry Johnson, who serves as the fire chief in Junction City, Kansas.

During their presentations to a community panel, Johnson said his desire to come to Port Arthur stems largely from his job load in Kansas. As well as fire chief, he is also the EMS director and code administration administrator.

“I want to concentrate on being a fire chief,” he said when asked why he’s interested in relocating. “That’s what I am. I spent my whole life to be a fire chief.”

Johnson’s platform centered mostly around the importance of community relations.

He began his 10-year service in the U.S. Army at Fort Polk, and is familiar with Port Arthur.

Benson also spoke on communication, and ensuring the fire department has a good reputation in the community. He took the job in Victorville when a once-dismantled department was restarted. However he no longer works there, leaving to care for an ill relative.

While not from the area, Benson said he and his wife have stayed at Sea Rim State Park during a camping trip, and he has a friend who works for Beaumont Fire Rescue.

Havens, who has been filling in as interim chief for five months, started his career with the Port Arthur Fire Department 28 years ago.

He talked about putting more emphasis into EMS training for department members. Each one currently has at least their EMT-basic certification, he said, but he would like to open opportunities to increase that.

The city does have an emergency council meeting scheduled for 9 a.m. Monday to discus a resolution authorizing Burton to execute a proposal allowing for the replacement of an HVAC water chiller at city hall, and for the establishment of the 2021 Juneteenth Alumni Softball Tournament.

Local

Port Arthur Health Department battles misinformation with town hall

Local

Outgoing Nederland councilman Emmett Hollier makes surprise County Commissioners election announcement

Local

National Weather Service warns of excessive heat in Port Arthur, Mid County

Local

COVID temporarily closes local barbecue favorite

Check this Out

Entergy announces effort to build Bridge City power station capable of powering more than 230,000 homes

Beaumont

Judge Jeff Branick talks rising COVID cases, mask plea & future where restrictions could return

Local

Have you seen them? Police release surveillance photo from Nederland armed robbery.

Local

U.S. Attorney: Port Arthur man with “cruel heart” pleads guilty after admitting he shot dog

Entertainment

Mexican Heritage Fiesta plans Port Arthur return; pageant entry deadline nears

College/Pro Sports

PNG grad Alicia Abshere follows family legacy becoming a Rangerette

Entertainment

PHOTO FEATURE — UGK tribute mural makes Port Arthur return; Bun B shares reaction

Business

Region’s top industry representatives are under 1 roof next week & YOU’RE invited

community

Tip-A-Cop to aid Special Olympics on Thursday

Groves

Groves Police Department arrests & responses: July 21-27

Education

United Board of Missions helps supply uniforms

Education

Back to School event Saturday plans to help hundreds with supplies, more

community

Benefit for former Groves man set for Saturday

High School Sports

Memorial volleyball coach sees potential in young team

Local

COVID concerns increase as cases spike, school year looms, town hall planned

Local

Man robbed at gunpoint Tuesday evening in Port Arthur, police say

Local

Delays cited in termination of LNG customer agreement; major Port Arthur project decision set for 2022

High School Sports

PHOTO GALLERY: Memorial players, coaches host football camp; fun continues Wednesday

Education

Port Arthur ISD rotating many of its principals ahead of 2021-22 academic year; See the plan

community

PHOTO GALLERY — Port Neches firefighters, guests welcome new engine