HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Mayor Sylvester Turner says competence, diversity and inclusion are the three factors that weighed most heavily in his decision to select Sam Peña as Chief of the Houston Fire Department.
If city council approves, Peña will replace Interim Fire Chief Rodney West, who's served the department since October 2015.
Peña began his career in the El Paso Fire Department 20 years ago, rising through the ranks and serving as chief for the past three years.
At 45 years old, he's the youngest fire chief to ever head El Paso Fire Department.
Mayor Turner says diversity, inclusion and competence were the three critical components that shaped his decision to appoint Peña, who began his career as a firefighter.
He's worn many hats through his career, including a medical coordinator. He holds a Master's degree in Business Administration from the University of Texas at El Paso.
In El Paso, he oversaw nearly one thousand uniformed officers in a department that received over 75,000 calls for service each year.
Houston Fire Department has over 4,000 firefighters and received 332,000 calls for service last year alone.
Mayor Turner will send Peña's appointment to city council for approval November 30.