College Station’s R.B. Alley Named Texas Fire Chief of the Year

College Station Fire Chief R.B. Alley III was named Fire Chief of the Year by the Texas Fire Chiefs Association during the group’s recent annual conference in Corpus Christi.

The award is the TFCA’s highest honor for service and recognizes a department’s significant achievements, through a chief’s leadership and vision, during the previous year.

Under Chief Alley’s guidance in 2012, the College Station Fire Department:

• Staffed the city’s sixth fire station
• Secured grants totaling more than $230,000
• Acquired a new ladder truck
• Continued its succession planning and mentoring programs for career development
• Conducted a number of community fire safety programs to benefit College Station citizens

“I’m extremely proud to accept this award on behalf of our great city, our great fire department and all the fire chiefs and firefighters in the Texas fire service,” said Chief Alley. “The College Station Fire Department works hard to make a difference everyday — it’s our department’s motto.”

Chief Alley has led CSFD since May 2005. Prior to his arrival, Alley was a district fire chief in Virginia, Beach, VA. He began his fire services career as a volunteer firefighter in 1973. Chief Alley oversees a department of nearly 140 personnel and a budget of $13.1 million.

Gunnels helps establish best practices

College Station Fire Captain Paul Gunnels was recognized by the TFCA for his work and leadership in helping establish the association’s Best Practices Recognition Program. The program helps fire departments achieve levels of excellence that are validated by independent industry experts. Gunnels received the President’s Award for Excellence, which was presented by Midland Fire Chief Robert Isbell, who serves as TFCA president.

Capt. Gunnels has been with College Station Fire Department since September 1990. He also serves as a safety manager for College Station-based Texas Task Force 1 urban search and rescue team, and as a training coordinator for the Texas Engineering Extension Service.