WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Following the retirement of former Wichita Falls Fire Department Fire Chief Ken Prillaman on March 31, 2023, a longtime firefighter with over 40 years of service with WFFD has been named the department’s new Fire Chief.

Interim Fire Chief Donald Hughes, photo courtesy City of Wichita Falls

On Tuesday, May 16, 2023, during the City of Wichita Falls’ regular City Council Meeting, the current interim fire chief Donald Hughes was named the new Fire Chief of the Wichita Falls Fire Department.

According to his biography with the City of Wichita Falls, Hughes began his career with WFFD in 1984 and graduated from the 35th WFFD Fire Academy. In 1996, he was promoted to Fire Equipment operator and served in that capacity until November 1999.

Hughes was promoted to Fire Lieutenant in 1999 and served in that role until he was again promoted in 2002 to Captain. In November 2011, Hughes was again promoted, this time to Battalion Chief in Operations, where he served until December 2012.

Hughes was transferred to Battalion Chief in charge of the Training Division in December 2012. While serving in that capacity, he accepted an offer to become the Assistant Chief in August of 2014, where he served until he was made interim fire chief.

Wichita Falls F.D. fire engine, photo courtesy KFDX/KJTL

Hughes is certified by the Texas Commission of Fire Protection as an Advanced Firefighter, Basic Inspector, Basic Investigator, and Fire Instructor II. He also holds certifications from the Commission as a Hazardous Material Technician and Fire Officer I.

Hughes is Emergency Medical Technician trained and Wildland Certified, and holds many Incident Management Certifications. In October 2015 he graduated from the Texas Fire Chiefs Academy with the professional designation of “Certified Fire Executive”.

Additionally, Hughes serves on the Board of the Red River Valley Wildfire Academy, the second-largest academy in Texas.