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March 29, 2011                                                            Communications Office :  485-3110


Taner Drake is Victoria’s New Fire Chief


(VICTORIA, TEXAS)  Taner Drake will be the new Victoria Fire Chief. Chief Drake is completing several projects in Odessa and will assume the Victoria Fire Chief position around mid-May.

Drake is currently the Assistant Fire Chief of Emergency Medical Services in Odessa, Texas. He manages eight mobile intensive care EMS transport units and staff that provide emergency medical services to the Odessa and Ector County service areas, covering more than 900 square miles and serving more than 130,000 residents.  Drake also served as the Assistant Fire Chief of Fire Operations with responsibility of eight front line fire apparatus and a staff of more than 150 emergency personnel. 

“Chief Drake has the leadership skills, experience and educational background that we were searching for in our new fire chief,” said Charmelle Garrett, Victoria City Manager.

Drake was selected from more than 40 candidates that applied for the position. A review team consisting of City Manager Charmelle Garrett, Assistant City Manager Bruce Ure and Human Resources Director Cheryl Marthiljohni reviewed all the applications.

Drake has 18 years experience in the Odessa Fire Department having served as a Firefighter, Firefighter/Paramedic, Captain, Central Captain, Operations Assistant Chief and currently serves as the Assistant Chief over EMS. 

“Promoting up through the ranks as Chief Drake did, certainly demonstrates his desire and proven ability to successfully lead a fire service and EMS organization,” said Charmelle Garrett, Victoria City Manager.   

Drake has a Masters Degree from Sul Ross University and a Bachelors Degree from Western Illinois University. He is a 2009 graduate of the Executive Fire Officers Program at the National Fire Academy.  Drake has Master Fire Fighter and Fire Instructor II certifications issued from the Texas Commission on Fire Protection, and is a Licensed Texas Paramedic.