EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – After serving as interim chief since May 2022, Jonathan Killings has been offered the role permanently. His background in serving many ranks within the department makes him the ideal candidate.
Killings moved to El Paso when he was two years old with his family as part of the United States Military. They decided to make the city their home where Killings grew up and attended Hanks High School.
He went on to the El Paso Fire Training Academy where he graduated in 1998. From there he went on to work all over the city including operations, ambulances, the training academy all the way up to chief. Killings feels that his experience is what prepared him for this role.
“I know what the men and women in the operations what they’re dealing with and how it feels when you’re out there responding and what you need to be successful and what you need to provide that high level of service to the community.”
The El Paso Fire Department like many other have had problems retaining as well as bringing in new recruits to the department. However Killings feels like the city has brought in more incentives to help keep the people they have while also bringing in new ones.
He will also try to focus on bringing in more women into the field.
“Historically the El Paso fire department struggled with getting females in the fire department and we really want to make sure that we message that correctly in that this is a career that is for everyone.”
The previous two fire chiefs have gone on to other leadership roles in both El Paso and in Houston. Killings attributes this to the department preparing the men and women in the field to be ready for those kinds of positions.
“Its encouraged and its supported at every level within our organization so when you get to a higher level you have that background of leadership you have that background of education.”
Among other things in El Paso, the migrant surge has become a major priority. While EPFD will be using some of their resources to help out those on the border, Killings says that this does not take away from the rest of El Paso.
“Right now there’s no affect that its having there’s no negative impact that its having on our ability to make emergency responses and be there for the core mission of the El Paso Fire Department.”
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