City Manager Skip Noe announced today he has appointed Fernando Gray as Aurora’s new Fire Chief. Noe stated, “I believe that Fernando Gray is the right person with the right skills to lead Aurora Fire Rescue. His extensive experience leading a large organization and serving a complex community makes him a good fit for this dynamic city.”
Noe made the selection following an extensive national search and interview process that included citizens, employees and city council members. Gray was selected from an initial pool of 70 candidates.
Noe reflected that, “The city of Aurora is fortunate to have an outstanding fire department that is accredited nationally. The department is focused on providing exceptional service to the community by well-trained professionals.”
Gray has more than 20 years of fire service experience and currently serves as Executive Assistant Fire Chief for the city of Dallas where he began his career in 1996. He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Texas A&M University-Commerce and a master’s in public administration from Sam Houston State University. Gray has completed both the International Association of Fire Chiefs Fire Service Executive Development Institute and the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer Program. He holds Texas Commission on Fire Protection Master Firefighter and Master Instructor certifications.
Gray said, “I am truly humbled by the opportunity that has been afforded to me by Mr. Noe and the City of Aurora Executive Team. Excitement doesn't adequately describe my thoughts about the future of this community and Aurora Fire Rescue. I look forward to working as an integral component with our citizens and staff in ensuring that Aurora remains one of the safest cities in the country."
Aurora is the safest large city in Colorado, and 370 sworn officers serve in Aurora Fire Rescue.
Gray’s appointment must be ratified by the city council. His appointment is subject to completion of a full background check. His annual compensation will be $160,000 plus benefits. He will join the department in June.
Noe added, “I want to thank Chief Caine Hills for his outstanding support and leadership during this transition.” Deputy Chief Caine Hills has served as the Interim Fire Chief since October 2016 when the position was vacated by retiring Fire Chief Mike Garcia.