HometownMcLennan County


Waco Fire Chief has many to thank before leaving service

Posted at 7:16 AM, Nov 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-13 09:14:37-05

WACO, TX — Announcing retirement in October, Chief Bobby Tatum has nothing but great memories to look back on. Fire Chief Bobby Tatum is happy to have served the Waco community. He started the position in 2016 after 31 years as a Fort Worth firefighter. Working his way up the ranks, he promised to make great relationships between the fire crews and community.

"We [need to] get out in the public and meet citizens before the emergency, and establish relationships," Chief Tatum said.

One thing that surprised him right off the bat was the friendliness, willingness and caring spirit that the Waco folks hold.

"That was one of the things that most impressed me about coming to Waco is the relationships and just how the community supports each other," Chief Tatum said.

Not only getting to know where he works but getting to know is crew. If you ask his team, they'll say he supported them when new ideas came to be.

"To have a chief that would allow us to be ourselves and do the things that we're able to do," Battalion Chief Chris Pechacek said. " I don't think you could ask for anyone better."

Treating heroes to lunch, wishing kids good luck on their first day of school and even creating the new Fire Station Number 5. He has much to look back on and be proud of. Chief Tatum is a humbled man, many would say he's gone above and beyond as Fire Chief.

"If you ask Chief Tatum he's going to say no, if you ask anyone else I would say yes he's gone above and beyond," Battalion Chief Pechacek said.

Some of his other accomplishments include receiving a class one fire department certification, a prestigious honor that only few fire stations say they have. Senator Cornyn has also recently visited to announce the Safer Grant, a grant to help with additional firefighters.

Although these happened under Chief Tatum's, watch you wont see him taking all the credit.

"We've accomplished a lot because I do mention we, It was not one person, but I had a great support system here in Waco from day one," Chief Tatum said.

Without the support from the community, his staff, family and friends he wouldn't be where he is today.

"It was one of the things that I could not have imagined or if I had written script myself to start off as an entry level firefighter and become a fire chief, that's a tremendous honor," Chief Tatum said.