ISO Field Representative
Assistant Chief, Millsap Volunteer Fire Department
As a field representative in Texas, Jeff Edwards conducts on-site surveys of fire departments, water delivery systems, and communications systems in communities across the state to determine Public Protection Classification (PPC®) gradings.
Jeff Edwards conducts the annual Fire Prevention Program for a kindergarten class at Millsap Elementary School; the students learn about firefighters' bunker gear and basic fire prevention.
The fire service plays a big role in Edwards’ life. As a member of the Millsap Volunteer Fire Department (VFD) since 1983, he has held every officer position. He currently serves as the assistant chief in charge of training. In this role, he started an aggressive training program that resulted in most members receiving certification by the State Firemen’s & Fire Marshals’ Association of Texas. Millsap uses an alternative water supply, which plays a significant role in the city’s fire protection capabilities. The city also uses tanker trucks purchased by Parker County to supply water in areas without hydrants.
Edwards was active in the Cool-Garner VFD for ten years from the late 1980s to early 1990s. The Cool-Garner VFD had shut down, and the mayor of the city of Cool asked if he would help the department start up again. Edwards served as chief in both Millsap and Cool for several years.
Edwards also served as Parker County fire marshal for ten years, during which time the department created the Parker County Rural Water Supply System. A highlight of his term was the purchase of twenty-one 3,000-gallon tankers. Several departments in the county have used the tankers to improve their ISO PPC ratings.
For the last ten years, Edwards has written grants for the Millsap VFD. The department won Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) awards from FEMA for five years in a row. The largest item purchased by the department was a CAFS (compressed air foam system) engine — the first such engine in Parker County. The department has received grant awards totaling more than $500,000 from AFG and the Texas Forest Service.
Edwards’ fire service experience has assisted him here at ISO. “My fire service background has helped me communicate directly with the fire department — the key agency in getting a survey completed. I understand what the departments are going through, since I’ve been on the ‘other side.’ Fire officials feel comfortable talking with another firefighter,” says Edwards. “My goal is to gather accurate profiles of fire departments, while making it a pleasant encounter for them. I’m always pleased at the end of a survey project when the fire chief tells me that the experience was much better than he or she thought it would be.”
Like father, like son. Edwards has passed down his love for the fire service to the next generation. His son is a volunteer with the Millsap VFD — so two generations now serve together.