DENTON, TX – City Manager Todd Hileman has announced the appointment of Kenneth Hedges to the position of Fire Chief. Hedges brings nearly 23 years of public service and leadership experience to the position. Hedges will begin as Fire Chief on April 14. “Assistant Chief Hedges has proven to be a solid leader and project manager,” said City Manager Todd Hileman. “Ken has been an integral part of the Fire Department’s leadership and command staff for a number of years and the guidance provided by Chief Paulsgrove will serve him well. He has a clear vision for the Department and I’m excited to see him take on this new opportunity.”
Hedges currently serves as Assistant Fire Chief of Emergency Services for the Denton Fire Department, a position he has held since 2010. In this position, Hedges has managed a staff of 176 employees located in seven fire stations and a budget of more than $24 million. Hedges also serves as the project manager for approximately $20 million in capital improvement projects. Hedges began his career in the fire service in 1995 with the City of Sherman, Texas Fire Department. In 1996, Hedges joined the Denton Fire Department as an entry level firefighter. He has also served as a Fire Driver, Captain, and Battalion Chief for the Denton Fire Department. Hedges will be the first internal Fire Chief appointment in 31 years. “I am honored and humbled to accept the position of Fire Chief,” said Assistant Chief Hedges. “The Denton Fire Department is an outstanding organization composed of a dedicated staff. As Chief, the two priorities will be to protect the health and safety of every member of the Department and deliver exceptional customer service to the citizens of Denton.” Hedges holds a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Emergency Management from West Texas A&M University.
He is also a graduate of the Texas Fire Chief ’s Academy and holds Master Fire Fighter and Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighter certifications from the Texas Commission on Fire Protection. Hedges has also been a licensed paramedic for more than 20 years. Currently, Hedges is enrolled in the Certified Public Manager program through Texas State University and was recently accepted into the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy. Hedges was also selected to attend the Fire Service Executive Development Institute through the International Association of Fire Chiefs and Motorola. The City of Denton started the selection process in January by working with executive recruitment firm GovHR to launch a nationwide search for candidates. After a thorough review and screening of 111 applicants, six finalists were interviewed by executive staff, with Hedges chosen as the final candidate.