Chip BalzerInterim Fire Chief
Clifford ‘Chip’ Balzer is the Assistant Chief of Support Services with the Midland Fire Department. Chief Balzer began his career with the Midland Fire Department in January of 1982, rising through the ranks, having been promoted to his current position in 1997. Chief Balzer holds state certifications as a licensed paramedic, Fire and EMS Instructor, and Master Firefighter in both structural and ARFF disciplines. He earned a Baccalaureate in Business Administration from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin and a Master of Business Administration from Wayland Baptist University.
Chief Balzer’s current duties include the oversight of the Department’s Training Division, the Records Division, and Human Resource functions. Chief Balzer is also responsible for several other administrative functions within the Department such as budgeting, policies, and the majority of EMS activities.
Charles BlumenauerAssistant Chief of OperationsCharles Blumenauer is the Assistant Chief of Operations with the Midland Fire Department. Chief Blumenauer began his career with the Midland Fire Department in 1998 and served in all ranks including Captain and Administrative Battalion Chief before his latest promotion. Blumenauer holds state certifications as a licensed paramedic, EMS Instructor, and TCFP Master Firefighter, Fire Officer II, Fire Instructor II and is also a graduate of the Texas Fire Chiefs Academy. He earned an Associates in Fire Protection Technology as well as a Bachelors of Organizational Management, each from Midland College.
Chief Blumenauer's primary duties include the direct supervision of the on duty Battalion Chief (or shift commander) and the Aircraft Rescue Fire-Fighting (ARFF) Coordinator. As a member of the executive administrative staff, he is also assists with strategic planning, budget development, policy implementation, project management, and team building and leadership activities.
Manuel "Corky" HerediaAssistant Chief of Support ServicesManuel "Corky" Heredia became the Midland Fire Department's Assistant Chief of Support Services in March 2017, after serving as Training Chief since 2014. He is a Certified Fire TCFP Instructor III, EMS Instructor DSHS, American Heart Association Instructor, and Blue Card Incident Command Instructor. He holds a Midland College Associates Degree in Fire Science Technology and TCFP Fire Officer II Certification.
Chief Heredia was born and raised in Midland. He graduated from Midland High School in 1985 followed by a brief stint at Midland College to pursue a degree in Business Administration. He received his EMT certification in 1990 and was hired by Midland Fire Department in 1991.
After completion of fire academy, Chief Heredia served on B shift at Central Station, followed by Station 5, where he gained experience in vehicle extrication and firefighting as the hoseman on Rescue and Engine 5. About a year later he obtained his Paramedic certification through Midland College and was reassigned to Station 8, where he moved up in the ranks from paramedic tailboardsman to fire engineer and captain. In 2013, he was reassigned to the training division as EMS Training Captain then promoted to Training Chief in 2014
Chief Heredia enjoys spending time with his wife and three daughters in his spare time and calls his employment with the Midland Fire Department one of the most rewarding experiences in his life.
Michael CotaAssistant Fire Chief of Community Risk Reduction
Assistant Chief Michael Cota has served with the Midland Fire Department since February of 1996. His career in suppression as a Firefighter and as an Investigator in the Fire Marshal’s Office has offered an opportunity serve in an array of disciplines for the City of Midland. Chief Cota holds state certifications as a Master Firefighter, Arson Investigator and Fire Inspector, while maintaining an EMT-I and Peace Officer license since joining the executive staff of the Midland Fire Department. He earned an Associate’s Degree at Midland College and is currently pursuing a Baccalaureate Degree in Business Administration.
Chief Cota’s duties include overseeing the Community Risk Reduction program, while balancing relationships with internal and external resources to make a positive difference in the lives of our community. Chief Cota is also responsible for departmental functions such as policies, budget, health and wellness, and personnel matters.
Chief Cota serves as the Chairman of the Board for the Midland Municipal Employee’s Credit Union since 2004 and is the Secretary/Treasurer of the Midland Firemen’s Relief and Retirement Board since 2007.
David HickmanFire MarshalDavid M. Hickman is a 26 year veteran with the Midland Fire Department. Beginning his paid fire career for the City of Big Lake, David served as Assistant Fire Chief and Fire Marshal for the Big Lake Volunteer Fire Department before moving to Midland in 1988. In 1991, he became a Driver/Operator and then promoted to the Fire Marshal’s Office in 1999 as a Fire Inspector/Investigator. David then promoted to Assistant Fire Marshal in 2006 and became Fire Marshal in 2013. David holds Masters Certificates as a Peace Officer, Fire Fighter, ARFF Fire Fighter, Fire Inspector and Fire Investigator. David is also received his Paramedic certification in 1990. It is David’s mission to reduce the cause of fires through education, investigations and fire code enforcement.