After 10 months of vacancy, Copperas Cove has announced its finalist for the fire chief position.

South Padre Island Fire Chief Burney Baskett is the top choice, according to City Manager Andrea Gardner. The position will not be officially filled until a background check has been completed.

Former fire chief Sean Hughes left after nearly six months of service in October 2012. He had replaced Mike Baker, who retired in February 2012.

Baskett has 32 years of experience in fire service, working in Arlington and Hillsboro as well as South Padre Island. He currently directs 24 firefighters and emergency medical services. He hopes to begin his new position, where he will direct 44 firefighters and emergency medical personnel, by July 15. Copperas Cove will host a badge ceremony on that date.