Taylor Fire Chief Pat Ekiss announced his retirement in October, and the search began for his replacement.

The city has announced the names of three finalists in the search for the position. The three candidates have been invited for interviews Feb. 11.

The city council selected Strategic Government Resources (SGR) to conduct and manage the nationwide search that resulted in an outstanding pool of candidates. The city received 29 applications from individuals in eight states and two other countries.

Candidate vetting included a comprehensive questionnaire, online interviews, a psychometric assessment, a thorough media search and a rigorous background investigation. The candidates will have the opportunity to meet council members as part of the hiring process.

The finalists are Daniel Baum, William Cox and William (Doug) Fowler.

Daniel Baum

Baum has served as Assistant Fire Chief for the city of Pearland Fire Department since 2013. He previously served as Chief of Pearland Emergency Medical Services; EMS Division Chief for the city of Buda Fire Department; Lieutenant for the city of Buda Fire Department; paramedic for the San Marcos/Hays County EMS; Emergency Medical Technician for Rural/Metro EMS in Bastrop; firefighter for the city of Buda Fire Department; Network Administrator for Capital Pacific Homes, Inc., in Austin; Technical Support Specialist for Dell Computer Corporation in Round Rock; and Armored Vehicle Crewman for the United States Army in Fort Hood.

Baum holds a master’s degree in emergency and disaster management from American Public University and a bachelor’s degree in occupational safety & health from Columbia Southern University.

William Cox

Cox most recently served as Interim City Manager for the city of George West. He previously served as Fire Advisor for Saudi Aramco Fire Protection Department in Udhailiyah, KSA. He previously served as Fire Chief for the Aransas Pass Fire Department; Assistant Fire Chief for the Brady Fire Department; Lead Instructor for firefighter preparation courses for Lone Star College in The Woodlands; and Captain with the Humble Fire Department.

Cox holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Texas, a bachelor’s degree in emergency management administration from West Texas A&M University, and an associate degree in fire protection technology from San Jacinto College.

William (Doug) Fowler

Fowler has served as Fire Chief/Emergency Management Coordinator for the city of South Padre Island since 2017. He previously served with the city of Austin Fire Department for 29 years in various roles, including Assistant Fire Chief, Division Chief, Battalion Chief, Captain, Lieutenant, Fire Specialist and 9-1-1 Operator. Before that he was a firefighter and a Staff Sergeant with the US Air Force Bergstrom Air Force Base.

Fowler holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Texas at Arlington, a Board of Trustees bachelor’s degree with an emphasis in fire administration from Western Illinois University, and an associate degree in fire protection technology from Austin Community College.

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