Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña a was recently honored as the 2023 Metropolitan Fire Chief of the Year by the International Association of Fire Chiefs and the National Fire Protection Association. He will serve on the 2023 Metro Executive Board.
“Congratulations to Chief Sam Peña on this outstanding award,” City Councilman District E. Dave Martin said in his remarks to the council Aug. 2.
The IAFC is the leading provider of education, leadership and advocacy for current and future fire & emergency service leaders, while the NFPA is the leading agency on fire and life safety, code info and research.
A 28-year veteran, Peña leads the third largest municipal fire department in the nation, with approximately 3,900 personnel and an annual budget of more than $559 million. He previously served 3 years 9 months as fire chief in El Paso, Texas.
He has served in the City of Houston Unified Command directing the Houston Fire Department assets during Hurricane Harvey, Tropical Storm Imelda, Tropical Storm Beta, Hurricane Nicholas, Winter Storm Uri, Super Bowl 51, World Series 2017, 2019, 2021, and the Watson Grinding explosion in 2020.
Peña completed his paramedic training at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center EMS Division in 1998. He served previously as Task Force leader for the El Paso Hazardous Materials Team and Special Rescue team; coordinator for the combined search and rescue (ComSAR) mountain rescue team; Strategic Planning Chief, Public Information Office, Training Chief, and Assistant Chief of Emergency Operations.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas at El Paso and served four years as a command and control specialist in the U.S. Air Force.