Shawn Snider, Edinburg’s longtime and beloved fire chief, has died

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Edinburg Fire Chief Shawn Snider

Longtime Edinburg Fire Chief Shawn Snider has died at the age of 58, the city said on social media Tuesday morning.

The city of Edinburg joined public officials, residents, businesses and agencies in mourning Snider’s death Tuesday, among them were Mayor Ramiro Garza Jr., state Rep. Terry Canales, the city of Weslaco and others.

“Rest in peace, Fire Chief Shawn Snider. Your courage, leadership, and dedication to serving our community will never be forgotten,” the city of Edinburg said on Facebook. “Our hearts go out to your family, friends, fellow firefighters, and Edinburg FD staff during this difficult time. Thank you for your service, and may you rest easy knowing that you made a difference in our world. We love you Chief.”

Snider first served as a volunteer Alamo firefighter when he was a teenager, first as a mechanic and then climbed the ranks to fire marshal.

He joined the Edinburg Fire Department in 1991 and became fire chief in 1999.

Snider’s previously served as president of the State Firefighters’ and Fire Marshals’ Association of Texas and regional director of the Texas Fire Chiefs Association. Also, he at one time served as the training coordinator for the Rio Grande Valley Firefighters’ and Fire Marshals’ Association, as well as a fire school instructor and a search and rescue task force leader.

In a statement Tuesday, the city said Snider died Monday after “a courageous battle with cancer.”

“Chief Snider was an exemplary public servant who dedicated his life to protecting the people of Edinburg. He was a true leader who inspired his team to be the best they could be, and his legacy will always live on in the Edinburg Fire Department,” Mayor Garza said in the statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Chief Snider’s family and his other family at the Edinburg Fire Department during this difficult time.”

City Manager Myra Ayala said Snider dedicated his life “to serving our community, and his selflessness and bravery will never be forgotten.”

Deputy Chief Ubaldo Perez agreed.

“Chief was a presence in every firefighter’s life from the moment they met him. I would not be where I am without his influence,” Perez said in the statement. “He was a true servant leader that always put service before self. His impact was not only on our professional lives but on our personal lives as well. We will have him in our hearts forever. You are forever blessed if you had Chief in your life.”

Mayor Pro-Tem David White called Snider a “consummate professional and a true leader.”

“His passion for the job and his commitment to the people of Edinburg were evident in everything he did,” White said in the statement. “We will miss him dearly, and our hearts go out to his family and loved ones.”

Funeral arrangements will be announced at a later time.

Editor’s note: This story was updated with new information provided by the city of Edinburg, including statements from local officials and additional biographical details.

Read the latest update here: 

‘He was a visionary’: Edinburg and RGV firefighters remember Chief Snider