Hardin Fire and Rescue has new fire chief

Nicolus Nelson (left) is the new fire chief for Hardin Fire and Rescue. He was selected Wednesday night by Liberty County ESD #7, which oversees operations of the Hardin fire station. Board members pictured are Klint Bush, Richey Ewing, Mark Neal, Stephanie Johnson and Dr. Chad Barrett.

At a special-called meeting Wednesday night at the fire station in Hardin, the board for Emergency Services District #7 picked Nicolus Nelson as its new fire chief. Nelson, who until Wednesday night, served as the assistant fire chief for ESD #3 in the Westlake Area, started his new job immediately after the meeting.

Nelson replaces former chief Jason Garza who resigned in recent days due to his family’s growing business, which has left him little time to juggle his fulltime job as a Baytown firefighter and a second fulltime job as Hardin fire chief.

“Jason is a great guy and he resigned on good terms,” said ESD #7 President Klint Bush.

In picking a new fire chief, the ESD board sought candidates from the area who they felt would be a good fit, have a working knowledge of ESDs and could devote fulltime to the position. Nelson was the right candidate, Bush said.

“Nic is someone that we thought would fit this department. Our members know him and he understands how the County works and how ESDs work. We interviewed him and discussed things over the course of a week, then made the decision to hire him,” he added.

The fire chief job is a salary job with no benefits; however, Nelson is thrilled with the opportunity to be a fulltime firefighter after having been a volunteer firefighter for the last 14 years. He started in the fire service in 2007 as a volunteer firefighter for the City of Liberty.

“I am excited to see where this takes us. I hope to help the department grow. I spoke to Jason Garza a few days ago and got caught up on his junior firefighting program. I want us to continue with that because we need more volunteers,” Nelson said. “I am excited to work with the volunteer firefighters here in Hardin. I have some goals that I want to discuss further with the ESD board.”

Previously, Nelson worked for the two funeral homes in Dayton. He and his wife, Kristina, live in Liberty and have two sons. Kristina is a clerk for the Liberty County Tax Assessor-Collector’s Office.

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