NewsFaces of Fort Cavazos


Faces of Fort Cavazos: Christopher Wirth is a veteran who spent the last 21 years with Killeen FD

Posted: 12:57 PM, Apr 10, 2024
Updated: 2024-04-10 19:45:42-04

KILLEEN, Texas — For some veterans, service doesn't have to be in a camouflage uniform.

Take Christopher Wirth for example.

He is a U.S. Army veteran and Captain at the Killeen Fire Department.

His story begins just over the California state line in Medford, Oregon.

”I was born up in Portland, but we moved down to southern Oregon when I was 8-years-old,” Captain Wirth said. “I graduated high school there and from there, went into the Army.”

Growing up with grandfathers in the military, serving seemed like the right thing to do.

After 11 years in the Army, he traded in his camo for a firefighter’s uniform.

”I found out Killeen was hiring and figured I would give it a shot,” Captain Wirth said. “I scored number two on the test 21 years ago and really haven't looked back since.”

Chief Douglas Foster has been with him since day one when Captain Wirth was one of the first hired students to graduate from the academy.

I asked Chief Foster what he was like as a student.

”It was good because having veterans come into the fire academy is like a fish in water,” Chief Foster told me. “It's probably a fish swimming in easier water than what they’re used to.”

After moving up through the ranks, Captain Wirth found himself leading the EMS side of the firehouse.

”It’s kind of the same thing as the fire department,” Captain Wirth said. “I didn’t choose it, it kind of chose me. When I was promoted they asked me if I would take the position and I thought why not. It's a change of pace and it’s been a good one.”

I asked Chief Foster what he wanted the community to understand about having Captain Wirth here in Killeen.

”They’re lucky,” Chief Foster said. “We have some veterans that come through and it’s not because he’s a veteran. I think being a veteran has helped shape Chris into who he is.”

Keeping up with a long-standing firefighter tradition, Captain Wirth told me he now has to buy ice cream for being on the news and Chief Foster said he likes pecans and pralines.