Following the retirement of former Belton Fire Chief Francisco Corona on Tuesday, City Manager Sam Listi has appointed Assistant Chief Bruce Pritchard to the position of Acting Chief.

The City interviewed several applicants for the position of Fire Chief, but ultimately decided that Pritchard was best qualified to build upon Corona's legacy. Pritchard is expected to be appointed a permanent position as Fire Chief by the Belton City Council during a July 28 meeting.

"In Bruce Pritchard's 25 year tenure with the Belton Fire Department, he has risen through the ranks as firefighter, paramedic, Captain, and Assistant Chief," Listi said Wednesday. "Mr. Pritchard has played a leadership role in all local incidents during his career, and is a good for the department at this time."

Some of Pritchard's career highlights include his role as Incident Commander during the massive fire at the old Indeco Sales building in 2007, his help implementing the city's flood alert system along Nolan Creek following flooding in 2010, and his experience as a relief worker following Hurricanes Katrina and Ike.