The City of Dallas announced Monday, June 6, it has hired Round Rock Fire Chief David Coatney to be Dallas Fire-Rescue Chief. Coatney has been the Round Rock Chief since May 1, 2011.
“David Coatney’s leadership for the Round Rock Fire Department has been phenomenal in his five-year tenure here,” City Manager Laurie Hadley said. “His professionalism is unmatched, and he has successfully guided the department through a period of significant organizational and capital growth, including the addition of two new stations, both of which are currently under construction. He will definitely be missed, but we wish him nothing but success in his new position.”
Coatney began work in Round Rock after a 25-year career with the San Antonio Fire Department.
Assistant Chief Billy Wusterhausen will serve as interim chief as the City conducts a nationwide search for Coatney’s replacement.
Here’s the news release from the City of Dallas:
After a nationwide search, David Coatney, the former head of the Round Rock Fire Department, has been named Dallas Fire-Rescue Chief. In addition to heading the Round Rock Fire Department, Coatney also served in the San Antonio Fire Department for more than 25 years.
“We have an incredible group of leaders within Dallas Fire-Rescue and I’m confident that David Coatney’s background of service will be a tremendous asset to the City of Dallas,” said City Manager A.C. Gonzalez.
An Army veteran, Coatney grew up in a large housing project in Seattle and served as a police officer before switching to the fire service. He has worked in fire suppression, emergency medical services, special operations, training, emergency management and homeland security.
In Round Rock, Coatney enhanced the department’s regional profile, provided collaborative training with other departments across the region and helped facilitate a $16.5 bond program to build new fire stations and $27.4 million for a Joint Police and Fire Training Center.
In San Antonio, he was responsible for the direction of emergency responses to large-scale hazards, the administration of Homeland Security grants and management of significant events that happened within the City of San Antonio. He also directed the Fire Suppression Division, was responsible for a $130 million department budget and designed and implemented a successful public education program to reduce fire deaths in the city.
Chief Coatney has a Bachelor’s degree in Occupational Education with a major in fire science and a Master’s degree in Organizational Management, both from Wayland Baptist University.
“Throughout my career in San Antonio, I have worked with Dallas Fire-Rescue to evaluate and model various special operations programs and know the quality of work this department produces,” said Chief Coatney. “I’m excited to be a part of the DFR team and am looking forward to continue moving the department forward with the leadership in place.”
Chief Coatney will join the City on July 13.