After a nationwide search beginning in January, the City of Carrollton appointed Assistant Chief of Operations Gregg Salmi as the Fire Chief of Carrollton Fire Rescue. He will take the department head position the beginning of April after current Chief John Murphy retires.
Salmi is a 31-year veteran of CFR having begun his career in Carrollton in 1986. He was promoted to Assistant Chief in 2007 and has overseen both the Support Services and Operations Divisions over the last decade.
“Carrollton is the only fire department I have ever worked for and it will be the only fire department I will ever work for,” Salmi said. “A major goal I have as fire chief is to ensure that CFR provides exceptional service delivery that exceeds the citizen’s expectations. I believe the future of the department looks very bright. Under Chief Murphy’s leadership, we have built a strong foundation and my goal is to build upon that foundation.”
More than 50 candidates from across the country applied for the position and six finalists were interviewed with two days of various panels with City stakeholders.
Current Fire Chief Murphy said he has no doubt Salmi will advance CFR to the next level and define the department’s competitive future with a focus on what is best for the community.
“I believe Chief Salmi has prepared well for the fire chief position. Over the past 12 years I have observed his growth as a leader, his personal commitment to our organization, and a sincere concern for our citizens and CFR team members,” Murphy said. “He is goal driven, self-motivated, a team player, and is committed to non-defensively evaluating and improving CFR’s service delivery to the citizens and visitors of Carrollton.”
Murphy said he is proud of Salmi and will leave his post knowing CFR is in good hands. City administration has also welcomed the appointment with a solid assurance and sincere excitement.
“Gregg Salmi has provided excellent customer service to the citizens of Carrollton for 31 years and I am confident he will continue the department’s commitment to excellence in his new role as fire chief,” City Manager Erin Rinehart said.
The transition to Salmi is expected to be a smooth one as he noted Murphy’s mentorship throughout the years. “Chief Murphy has taught me to be patient and the importance of attention to detail; two traits that will help me to succeed in my new position.”
Salmi earned an associate’s degree from Brookhaven Community College and a Bachelor of Applied Arts & Science—Emergency Management Administration from West Texas A&M University. He holds a Master Firefighter certification from the Texas Commission on Fire Protection; a paramedic certification from University of Texas-Southwestern Medical Center; and completed the Fire Service Chief Executive Officer program at Texas A&M University. In 2003, Salmi was one of the original tactical paramedics who worked closely with the Carrollton SWAT team.
He has been married for 31 years and has two children. Salmi grew up in Farmers Branch and graduated from Newman Smith High School.
Of his aspirations as a young man, Salmi said he’d never considered becoming a firefighter as a career until his future mother-in-law at the time showed him an ad in the newspaper for new hires in the Carrollton Fire Department.
“When I showed up for the test, I doubted myself and almost walked away,” Salmi recalls. “Staying to take that test was the best thing I’ve ever done. I cannot imagine there is a better job in the world than to be a firefighter. If I could, I would tell my younger self and any other person listening: never doubt yourself, never think you are not good enough; you can obtain your dreams if you just try.”
Salmi said there has not been a single day in his 31-year career that he did not look forward to coming to work.
“It is an honor to work for this city, this department, and to serve the citizens of Carrollton,” Salmi said. “It is an extreme honor to have been appointed Fire Chief of Carrollton Fire Rescue. I firmly believe this is the best department in the country. The members of this department and the service they deliver to the citizens of Carrollton are second to none.”
For more information on Carrollton Fire Rescue, visit cityofcarrollton.com/fire.