Fire Administration

  1. Chief Keith Fortner
    Chief Fortner is a 13-year veteran of the Jacksonville Fire Department, joining the department in 2002 after graduation from the fire academy at Angelina College in Lufkin, Texas. His background includes extensive experience in firefighting, first responder medical assistance, inspections, departmental public relations, and departmental administration.

    Educational and Professional Certifications and Accomplishments
    • Bachelor of Business Administration, Le Tourneau University (2011), graduated summa cum laude
    • National Registry Paramedic
    • Licensed Paramedic with Texas Department of State Health Services
    • Master Firefighter
    • Master Fire Inspector
    • IFSAC Seal in Hazmat Awareness
    • IFSAC Seal in Hazmat Operations
    • IFSAC Seals in Firefighter I & II
    • President of Local International Firefighter Association 2013-2014

  2. Fire Marshall Jeremy Pate
    The Fire Marshal's Office is responsible for determining fire causes within the City of Jacksonville, a service that is also available upon request to other area fire departments. The Fire Marshal assigned to this division performs formal fire inspections, fire investigation, and assist with other activities assigned to Fire Prevention. These inspectors are the "police" of the Fire Department, and investigate all fire-related crimes within the city. Inspectors are State-certified firefighters, law enforcement officers, and arson investigators, and have the same authority as any Texas Peace Officer.

    Inspectors are also responsible for investigating fires that resulted in burn injuries and/or fatalities, as well as all misdemeanor offenses involving fires, such as false alarms and criminal mischief fires. In cases involving juveniles, inspectors either counsel the juvenile and his/her parents, or refer the juvenile to the Police Department.

  3. EMS Coordinator Alicia Whetsell

Alicia Whetsell is a 20 year veteran of the Jacksonville Fire Department after joining the department in December of 1999 as full time ambulance personnel. In August of 2000 graduated Kilgore Fire Academy and began the transition into shift work as a Firefighter and the department’s first full time female firefighter. In early 2001 obtained Paramedic certification. Currently lives in Jacksonville with my 3 daughters.

Educational and Professional Certifications and Accomplishments:

• Associate of Applied Science degree in Fire Protection from Kilgore College (2017)

• Texas Department of State Health Services certified Paramedic

• Texas Department of State Health Services certified EMS Instructor

• Texas Commission on Fire Protection Master Firefighter

• Texas Commission on Fire Protection Advanced Fire Investigator

• Texas Commission on Fire Protection Advanced Fire Inspector

• Texas Commission on Fire Protection Fire Officer II

• Texas Commission on Fire Protection Instructor III

• Regional Task Force Leader of the Texas Emergency Medical Task Force

The EMS Coordinator’s office works as a liaison between the department, hospitals, and other emergency services. We work with the medical director to ensure that current and golden standard of care is provided to the citizens of Jacksonville. The EMS Coordinator manages certification and recertification of personnel and the department with the Texas Department of State Health Services as well as resource allocation and administration.