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The Woodlands Township Hires New Fire Chief

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THE WOODLANDS, TX – After an extensive, nationwide search for a new fire chief following Chief Alan B. Benson’s retirement earlier this year, The Woodlands Township has named a new fire chief, Chief Palmer Buck of the Austin Fire Department.

buck palmer woodlands township fire chief
Division Chief Palmer Buck of the Austin Fire Department has been named Fire Chief of The Woodlands Fire Department, beginning December 2, 2019.

“We look forward to having Chief Buck come to The Woodlands with his wealth of knowledge, experience and leadership,” said Don Norrell, President and General Manager of The Woodlands Township. “Chief Buck has 37 years of experience in all aspects of the fire service and is a proven leader with extensive operations and command experience.”

Chief Buck has been with the Austin Fire Department for 26 years and currently serves as a Division Chief in Operations. Chief Buck has a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Science Fire Protection Technology, a Master of Public Affairs and is a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer program. During his 26 years with the Austin Fire Department, Chief Buck has been involved in all operational aspects of the Austin Fire Department.




Chief Buck is a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the National Fire Protection Agency, the National Society of Executive Fire Officers and the International Association of Firefighters. He rose through the ranks in the fire service in Texas and North Carolina, having worked as both a paramedic and a firefighter and has been a chief officer for the past 14 years. He was also a public information officer for Austin Fire and a Water Group Supervisor for Texas A&M Task Force 1. Chief Buck holds numerous certifications through the National Fire Academy, the Texas Commission on Fire Protection, the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Austin Fire Department.

“I am honored to have been selected as Fire Chief to serve the residents of The Woodlands and lead The Woodlands Fire Department, continuing the history of dedicated leadership provided by former Chief Benson and Interim Chief Doug Adams,” Chief Buck said. “I look forward to working together with the men and women of The Woodlands Fire Department to face the challenges of the next decade and beyond.”




The Woodlands Fire Department is staffed with full-time, commissioned firefighters/emergency medical technicians who are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Department has excellent teams who are fully-trained to respond to a wide variety of emergencies including collapse rescue, fires, hazardous materials emergencies, high-angle rescue, medical calls, swift water rescue, trench rescue and more. The Woodlands Fire Department celebrates over 40 years of service with eight permanent fire stations, a state-of-the-art Emergency Training Center and an ISO rating of 1, the highest in the industry.

Chief Buck will begin his new position on December 2, 2019. For more information about The Woodlands Township, please visit or call 281-210-3800. More information on The Woodlands Fire Department is online at