First Annual Texas Fire Service Hall of Honor Lifetime Achievement Award Honors Outstanding Contributions to the Texas Fire Service

On Monday, January 9, four individuals were inducted into the new Texas Fire Service Hall of Honor for their career-long commitments to the Texas Fire Service. These individuals were the first recipients of the Texas Fire Service Hall of Honor Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes current or former firefighters or emergency service personnel for their outstanding contributions to the Texas Fire Service.

Recipients of this year’s award include Chief C.T. “Tommy” Anderson, a founding member of the Galveston County Emergency Communications District; Lieutenant Steve L. Harris, a founding member of the Dallas Fire Department Hazardous Materials Response Team; Mike Higgins, who was instrumental in drafting the Sean McKinnis Charitable Solicitation Law and legislation to improve firefighter health, wellness and safety; and Wendy Norris, founder of Texas Line of Duty Death Task Force, an organization that aids critically injured and fallen first responders and their families.

Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) is the host agency for the award, and the Hall of Honor display will be located in the new Chief Les W. Bunte Jr. Administration and Classroom Complex at Brayton Fire Training Field in College Station, Texas, scheduled to open in June of 2023.

TEEX Director David Coatney said, “TEEX is honored to be the home of the Hall of Honor Award, which recognizes those who have contributed to the Texas Fire Service, whether by developing programs to improve firefighter safety, caring for firefighters or their surviving family members, or advancing the fire service to better serve the citizens of Texas.”

The Hall of Honor Award was initially envisioned by Chief Danny Kistner of McKinney Fire Department, who worked with TEEX and Chief Les Stephens of San Marcos Fire Department to bring the idea to fruition.

One hundred fifty people attended the award luncheon that was held during TEEX’s 14th annual Leadership Development Symposium, held January 9-11. The symposium offers training at no cost for Texas first responders, enhancing the leadership skills of the emergency response community. Nearly 1,300 first responders attended this year’s symposium.