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20-year veteran moves up fire department ranks as new Henderson chief

The Henderson Fire Department’s 10th chief, Matthew L. Morris, was recently sworn in after 20 years with the department.

Morris, 48, was deputy fire chief before the switch. Former Fire Chief Steve Goble retired Jan. 7 after advancing to the position in September 2011.

Morris said recently that he had no intention of making any dramatic changes within the department going into the future.

“I think we are in a really great place,” he said. “A big part of what I want to do is continue the great work that we’re doing.”

Morris said one of his focuses will be on looking for more innovative ways to work with technology in order to enhance services. He said one example is the department’s efforts to improve its alarm notification system by transitioning from analog to digital equipment. Also, the department plans to enhance emergency medical services response through an integrated emergency medical services system, which helps personnel access a patient’s medical history more efficiently.

Morris’ city of Henderson firefighting career began in January 1996 as a firefighter/paramedic. He then advanced to captain, battalion chief and deputy fire chief.

Before his employment in Henderson, he was in the fire service in Boulder City, where he began his career in 1990 as a reserve firefighter/emergency medical technician.

Morris holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from American Public University and is completing his master’s there in that capacity. He also is scheduled to graduate from the National Fire Academy in June from the Executive Fire Officer program, which provides training for administrators.

The Henderson Fire Department covers 105 square miles and has 244 full-time staff members: 12 chief officers, 208 fire and rescue employees, and 24 support staff members.

It plans to increase the frequency of open houses at its nine fire stations to once per month, said Kathleen Richards, Henderson public information officer. The effort kicked off Jan. 23 at Station 83, 100 Burkholder Blvd.

The upcoming schedule is: 11 a.m. Feb. 20 at Station 99, 2401 Atchley Drive; March 19 at Station 81, 600 College Drive; April 16 at Station 97, 1550 Amador Lane; May 14 at Station 82, 401 Parkson Road; June 11 at Station 95, 2300 Pebble Road; July 16 at Station 86, 1996 E. Galleria Drive; Aug. 13 at Station 98, 891 Coronado Center Drive; and Sept. 10 at Station 94, 400 Valle Verde Drive.

Attendees can meet station personnel and learn more about fire safety. Visit cityofhenderson.com or call 702-267-2222.

— To reach Henderson View reporter Cassandra Keenan, email ckeenan@viewnews.com or call 702-383-0278. Find her on Twitter: @CassandraKNews

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