With teaching, service, and excellence at the heart of his resume, City Manager Ben Thatcher announced Friday, March 3, 2023, that Manuel “Manny” M. Casarez has been hired as the next Fire Chief for the Boerne Fire Department.
Born and raised in San Antonio, Casarez, 40, will join the City of Boerne on March 27, 2023, from the Universal City Fire Department where he has served as Fire Chief since 2016. Over the course of his career, he has been a volunteer firefighter, emergency medical technician, and has extensive experience teaching and serving in management and administrative capacities. Upon joining the Universal City Fire Department in 2004 as a volunteer, he was hired on in a full-time capacity in 2006, was promoted to lieutenant the following year, and became chief seven years ago. During this time, Casarez has been a lead instructor, program coordinator, and adjunct faculty member at San Antonio College’s Fire Science Program.
“We had an extensive and impressive list of applicants for the position of Fire Chief,” Thatcher said. “Through the interview process it became apparent that Manny has the right blend of skills and talents to fit perfectly into our organizational culture and lead our growing department into the future.”
The City conducted a three-month recruitment led by Strategic Government Resources, an executive recruiting firm that works with local governments. The firm worked with department supervisors and multiple key community partners to gather input on the knowledge, abilities, and personal attributes the community was seeking in its next Fire Chief.
“I am excited to join the great crew at the Boerne Fire Department and meet everyone that is a part of Team Boerne,” Casarez said. “I look forward to working collaboratively with my new team to build even stronger community relations, preparing for the necessary staffing and fleet requirements for our next fire station, and ensuring we are operating and performing at the top-tier level Boerne residents have come to expect.”
Casarez received Firefighter of the Year in 2007 and was Fire Officer of the Year in 2013 and 2014. He holds certifications from the Texas Commission on Fire Protection as a Fire Instructor levels I, II, III; Wildland Firefighting; Incident Safety Officer; Advanced Fire Inspection; Master Firefighter; and Head of Suppression and Prevention. He is a graduate of Texas A&M University – San Antonio with a degree in Fire and Emergency Services Administration, a graduate of Texas State University’s Certified Public Manager Program, and has successfully completed the Texas Fire Chief’s Academy.
Casarez is married to his wife, Vanessa. They have four children, Josiah, Manny, Aiden, and Ava Belle. He enjoys spending his free time with family and doing home DIY projects.