New Sherman Fire Department Chief Danny Jones has been in the field for nearly 30 years and has risen through the ranks. Still, he says he never thought he would be a fire chief "in a million years."

New Sherman Fire Department Chief Danny Jones has been in the field for nearly 30 years and has risen through the ranks. Still, he says he never thought he would be a fire chief "in a million years."


While he had been interim chief since April, Jones officially became the new chief on July 1. He is currently acclimating to overseeing every aspect of the fire department. On an average day he pays visits to the firefighters, attends meetings with other city officials and fulfills administrative duties.


Jones said he was taken by surprise when City Manager Robby Hefton approached him in late June and said he wanted to appoint Jones as chief.


"I’m still surprised," Jones said. "But I talked about it with my co-workers, and I thought about what the city of Sherman has done for me in the past 25 years. The city and fire department have given me so much. I wanted to give back to them."


Jones did not always know that he was destined for a career in firefighting. While a student at B. McDaniel Intermediate School in Denison, Jones was assigned to do a report on a profession for an occupation-orientation class. He chose to interview Denison firefighters for his report since he often ran past the fire department during football practice.


Jones said he did not think about becoming a firefighter again until several years later. Upon graduating from Denison High School in 1978, Jones took a maintenance job for the city of McKinney. After growing tired of the long commute, he began looking for work closer to home. That was when he remembered the report he had completed on Denison firefighters years before. He decided to pursue being a firefighter and paramedic as a career and was hired on at the Denison Fire Department in 1986.


Jones spent the next four years fighting structure fires, providing medical care and learning the ins and outs of the profession. In April of 1990, he made the decision to begin working at the Sherman Fire Department and has been there ever since.


In his 25 years at the Sherman FD, Jones has seen countless fires, medical situations and vehicle wrecks. He recalled one memorable structure fire in which he and another firefighter became trapped in the second story of a building. With nowhere else to go, both had to jump out the window and onto the ground. Jones survived the incident with "soreness and a lot of bruises." The other firefighter broke his foot.


Since hiring on at the Sherman FD, Jones has held various roles. He has been an engineer, driving and operating the fire engines. He promoted to captain in 2007, supervising four other firefighters in his shift. In 2011, Jones became a battalion chief and supervised all 23 men in his shift.


Jones became one of four division chiefs in 2012. In this position, Jones oversaw all things EMS for the department and acted as a liaison between the fire department and hospitals.


When asked what his least favorite part of being a firefighter is, Jones appeared stumped. He eventually concluded that "seeing people lose everything," whether it be in a fire or medical incident, is one of the most difficult aspects of the profession. Seeing firefighters work together to help people in tragic situations, however, is one of his favorite parts of the job.


Outside of work, Jones said that he is kept busy by his grandchildren (one was in his office during this interview, watching a PBS Kids show). He is also the youth minister at his church.


"I never thought I would be chief," Jones said, shaking his head while smiling, "In 1986, I was just looking for a job close to home, and this is where God led me."