Belton's fire chief has announced he'll be retiring after 32 years in fire service, 29 of which he's spent here in Central Texas.

Bruce Pritchard has served as Belton Fire Department Chief for four years. He's previously worked as a firefighter and paramedic for the department, and has served as captain and assistant chief.

According to a statement from the City of Belton, Pritchard's last day will be Friday, November 1.

“I am grateful for the many opportunities and experiences over the past 29 years, and will always have a special place in my heart for the City of Belton, the outstanding people of the community and the staff,” Chief Pritchard said.

During Chief Pritchard's tenure, the department has racked up some impressive achievements in service to the community, including:

  • Recognized Best Practices Fire Department by TFCA (2017)
  • Partnered with Red Cross and 100-plus volunteers to install smoke detectors in Miller Heights neighborhood (2018)
  • Fire Prevention Program (2016/2019), which installed more than 300 Stovetop Firestops in residences, including at the Housing Authority
  • Established Honor Guard (2016) and Bags & Pipes (2017)
  • Established rescue teams for Confined Space and Water Rescue (2017)
  • Transition of Belton Volunteer Fire Department to Belton Fire Corps (2016)
  • Administered annual summer fan giveaway program (2016-2019)

“Throughout his distinguished career, Chief Pritchard has served Belton residents and firefighters well,” City Manager Sam Listi said. “Under his leadership in 2017, the Belton Fire Department was recognized by the Texas Fire Chiefs Association (TFCA) for its commitment to statewide best practices for fire departments, one of only seven fire departments in Texas to achieve such an honor at the time.”

“Chief Pritchard has been a valuable part of our management team in Belton,” Listi added. “We appreciate his nearly three decades of service to the Belton community, and wish him well in retirement.”

The City of Belton will now team with Strategic Government Resources in a national search for a new fire chief.