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New Fire Chief for ESD No. 3


Veteran New Braunfels Fire Department Battalion Chief Darren Brinkkoeter was sworn in Sept. 20 as leader of Comal County Emergency Services District No. 3 (Canyon Lake Fire/EMS).

He replaces Chief Shawn Wherry, who retired Aug. 11 after 25 years of service.

In late August, Chief Brinkkoetter deployed to Port Aransas after Harvey made landfall along the Texas coast, serving in a command function with Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System.

“What a blessing he will be to our community,” Jen Crownover, Comal County Commissioner Pct. 4 announced on her Facebook page. “Our thanks to Shawn Wherry for everything he has done for our department the past 25 years, and our excitement for the next chapter in our community.”

Canyon Lake Fire/EMS is growing rapidly. Chief Wherry said the department responded to 500 incidents when he joined as a volunteer firefighter in 1991.

This year, ESD No. 3 anticipates that number will rise to 4,000 incidents.

New Braunfels Professional Fire Fighters Association posted on its Facebook page that Chief Brinkoetter “has carried the history of our department with him for over 25 years! As many of you know, he is a second-generation New Braunfels firefighter. His caring knowledge of and for our department will be sorely missed.”

The new fire chief is a graduate of New Braunfels High School. He received the 1994-95 Fireman of the Year Award from Department of Texas Veterans of Foreign Wars and graduated top of his class from Texas A&M’s firefighting school in 1991.
He also served as New Braunfels Fire Marshal and, as project director of New Braunfels Fire Department Museum, for which he interviewed retired firefighters, collected fire artifacts and helped refurbish New Braunfels’ old central fire station.

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