JARED FIELDS • PICAYUNE STAFF
COTTONWOOD SHORES — The Cottonwood Shores Volunteer Fire Department chose training officer Heather Hyslop as the new fire chief Jan. 14.
Hyslop replaces Deavon DeLancey, who resigned from the department Jan. 8.
Hyslop has been a firefighter for seven years and a firefighter/EMT for the Houston Fire Department for three years.
“There’s important stuff that we need to work on like training,” she said.
Hyslop said the department has about 15 members and eight active firefighters, although the firefighters have almost no fire experience.
“Even though I was already the training officer, my No. 1 priority still is training,” Hyslop said. “That’s still what we need the most.”
As a firefighter in Houston, Hyslop is away from Cottonwood Shores for three days, but has five days off from the department to devote to the volunteer department. Hyslop also teaches at Texas A&M University training schools.
Assistant Fire Chief Travis Hockensmith, a certified EMT, is next in line when Hyslop is in Houston.
Hyslop said she is working on her master’s degree in emergency management at Texas A&M. She received her bachelor’s degree in education from Texas State University in San Marcos and taught in the Marble Falls Independent School District before pursuing a career as a firefighter.