Southard Confirmed as DeSoto’s Fire Chief, Jesionek Promoted to Assistant Police Chief

Southard with friend and mentor Jerry Duffield, DeSoto’s outgoing Chief.

Bryan Southard Confirmed As DeSoto’s New Fire Chief

The DeSoto City Council has unanimously confirmed the appointment of 21-year DeSoto’s Fire veteran Bryan Southard as DeSoto’s new Fire Chief. Southard has served as the department’s second in command in the title of Assistant Chief since May of 2018. He succeeds Jerry Duffield who has served as DeSoto’s Fire Chief for the past 9 years.

“I have served in the DeSoto Fire-Rescue Department for more than 21 years in every possible rank, and consider every member of the department as family,” said Chief Southard. “I am excited in this new role to continue working with every level of this organization in providing first-rate fire services to the DeSoto community.”

Bryan Southard joined the department in March 2001, starting as a Firefighter, and moving up to Engineer, Captain, Battalion Chief, EMS Battalion Chief, Assistant Fire Chief, and effective March 12, Fire Chief.

“Chief Southard has prepared himself in every possible way to serve as DeSoto’s next Fire Chief,” stated City Manager Brandon Wright. “He has helped to transform the department during his last seven years of senior-level management and will help us succeed over the next decade.”

Southard holds a Fire Service Chief Executive Officer Certification from the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, Certified Fire Executive and EMS Chiefs Academy Certifications from the Texas Fire Chief’s Academy, and holds numerous other awards and certifications issued during the course of his extensive firefighting career.

He holds a Bachelor of Science for Emergency Management and Public Safety from Grand Canyon University and an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science and Fire Administration from Weatherford College.

Southard has been married for 21 years to his wife Kathryn, an Assistant Principal in the Maypearl School System. They have three children; one who is a firefighter for the Cedar Hill Fire Department.

Bryan Southard being pinned by his daughter, Katherine.

Ryan Jesionek Promoted to Assistant Chief of Police

In other council business, DeSoto Police Chief Joe Costa introduced Ryan Jesionek, announcing that the 18-year veteran of the police department was being promoted from Captain to Assistant Chief. Assistant Chief

Jesionek was honored to have his daughter Katherine pin his badge on him during the presentation.

Chief Costa with Ryan and his family. Photo courtesy City of DeSoto.

Chief Costa jokingly asked Jesionek to introduce his family, since it is National Women’s month and he being the only man in a house full of women. He presented his wife Erin, his youngest daughter Devin, then Lauren, his oldest daughter Katherine, and daughters Megan and Ashland.

Jesionek thanked the citizens of DeSoto, Chief Costa, and the Council, Mayor Proctor and City Manager Wright for the amount of trust they place in him and the department.