ABILENE, Texas (KRBC)- As of Monday evening, two leaders of the Buffalo Gap Volunteer Fire Dept. leave their positions to a new generation, including 25-year president Ed Kinney and 35-year chief, Dana Sowell.
Dana has been a volunteer firefighter for nearly 50 years, and he is ready to take the back-seat after serving his community for more than three decades as chief.
“After 35 years, it’s just time for somebody else to be in charge,” said Dana.
Sowell is one of many firefighters in his family. His dad and brother each served as chief for Burnet County. His own son, Dereck, has been at his side in Buffalo Gap for many years.
“It’s bittersweet, because I want to see him be able to retire and have a good time with his retirement, but at the same time I enjoy working with my dad,” said Dereck.
Reporting to medical calls grass fires and more, Dana has been making the important decisions on scene every day.
“He has strong leadership skills, and I believe that’s probably the reason why people have continued to put him in that position,” said Dereck.
But, Dana said, serving takes more than brains and brawn.
“You cannot be a firefighter without having a good heart,” said Dana.
Dana said he will stick around to perform his duties as a firefighter, but he said he leaves the leadership role in good hands.
“They’ve got thousands of new ideals and everything and that’s the way the fire department is going to have to go,” said Dana.
As of Monday, Oct. 7, Dereck Sowell will take on the role as fire chief for the Buffalo Gap Volunteer Fire Dept.