Edinburg hires new fire chief who has 30 years of experience

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Omar Garza

The city of Edinburg announced on Monday its selection of a new fire chief.

Former Fire Marshal Omar Garza, who has nearly three decades of experience in fire service, has been selected to take on the role.

According to a press release, Garza’s journey in the fire service began as a volunteer firefighter in his hometown of Alamo in 1993.

He became a firefighter at the city of Alamo and served from 1995 to 1997 before becoming the Edinburg Fire Department’s fire inspector under the mentorship of former Fire Chief Johnny Economedes.

“Through his steadfast dedication and exemplary performance, Chief Garza steadily climbed the ranks within the Edinburg Fire Department,” the release said. “He was promoted to Assistant Fire Marshal in 1997, and his continuous growth earned him the role of Fire Marshal in 2011, operating under the guidance of Fire Chief Shawn Snider.”

Snider died in May following a yearslong battle with cancer.

Garza spearheaded the creation of several fire prevention programs such as the Fire Safety Loteria, Fire Safety Clown Show and the Fire Stopper Festival, which includes a 5k Run/Walk for Snider.

In addition to his experience in fire service, Garza has numerous certifications with the Texas Commission of Fire Protection which include Advanced Firefighter, Advanced Inspector, Advanced Arson Investigator, Haz-Mat Technician, Public Educator and Fire Service Instructor Level III.

Garza also served as president of the Texas Fire Marshals Association and also holds a Master Peace Officer certification with the Texas Commission of Law Enforcement.

“The City of Edinburg is excited about the future under Chief Garza’s leadership and is confident in his ability to continue elevating the standards of the Edinburg Fire Department and ensuring the safety and well-being of its citizens,” the release said.