Waters named Fort Smith Fire Chief
City Administrator Carl Geffken announced Monday (March 20) Boyd Waters as the next Fire Chief of the Fort Smith Fire Department. Waters has served as the interim chief since Fire Chief Phil Christensen died Feb. 11 after a nine-month battle with cancer.
“This appointment carries with it mixed emotions for me. I am honored that the city administrator and board of directors have the faith in me to continue Phil’s legacy. He left big shoes to fill, and I will share in the same commitment and dedication he had to lead this department and serve the residents of Fort Smith,” said Waters.
Waters was promoted to assistant chief of the fire department the same day Christensen was promoted to fire chief in 2016, Geffken said.
“He supported Phil in all aspects of the job and kept the department running on all cylinders through a very difficult time. Boyd’s experience, character, and dedication to the FSFD made him a clear choice for the role. I am pleased to see him move into this leadership position with our city,” Geffken said.
Waters started with the Fort Smith Fire Department as a firefighter in February 2000. In February 2004, he was promoted to driver. That was followed by a promotion to captain in February 2011. He was promoted to battalion chief/shift commander in September 2013 and assistant cChief in August 2016.
Waters has an associate’s degree in fire and emergency response from Southern Arkansas University Tech. His achievements include:
• 2012 Achievement Medal for Apparatus Specifications
• 2011 Achievement Medal for SCBA Technician
• 2011 Certificate of Appreciation for the Firefighter Indoctrination Program
• 2009 Medal of Valor for Rescuing a Victim in a Fire
• 2009 Noon Exchange Club Firefighter of the Year
• 2004 Jaycees Luther Bevel Outstanding Young Firefighter of the Year
• Arkansas Fire Academy 2000 Spring Class Outstanding Academic Achievement Award
Waters will office from Fire Station No. 1 at 200 N. Fifth St. in downtown Fort Smith. The Fort Smith Board of Directors unanimously passed a resolution March 7 suggesting renaming the fire station at 200 N. Fifth St. the Phillip P. Christensen Fire Station 1 in honor of the former fire chief.
Christensen joined the Fort Smith Fire Department as a firefighter May 26, 1992. He served 31 with distinction, having been promoted to chief of the department in 2016. Fire Station No. 1 was chosen by city administrators as the city facility most associated with Christensen during his career with the Fort Smith Fire Department.