Although he’s been on the job for a short time, the new assistant chief for the Prosper Fire Department is already a part of the social network throughout the station participating in the kind of friendly banter that happens only among good friends.
Coming to Prosper after 20 years with the Frisco Fire Department, his first day on the job was October 2nd and Assistant Chief Shaw Eft says he feels at home in his new office already. “Everybody I’ve met here has been so welcoming,“ he said.
But Eft already knew some of the personnel in the Prosper Fire Department. “We’ve worked together on big incidents along [U.S. Highway] 380 when we had a joint response and we’ve always had a good working relationship,” he said.
Shaw, who lives in Gunter with his wife and two daughters, says he’s been driving through Prosper at least twice a day to and from work for several years and he’s watched the Prosper community change. He thought, after being in Frisco for a similar time of growth, he would have something to offer in Prosper.
After 20 years in one place, the decision to make the move was not an easy one, Eft says. But after meeting people here, he knew this is where he wanted to be. “Prosper is phenomenal. I’ve already been on several emergency calls with these guys and I’m really amazed at their positive attitudes, professionalism and skills. People here are talented at their jobs. They have good leadership in place with teamwork and procedures.”
Eft says he lives and breathes the fire department and his family, stating “I’m pretty simple.” He’s looking forward to a long career with Prosper. “We are hiring six more full time firefighter-paramedics because we are going to put another ambulance in service. It is being built now, and when it’s done, we’ll be able to bring on those firefighter-paramedics to put that ambulance into service,” he said. “And then in the future, we’ll be building five stations and adding personnel and apparatus so we are going to be really busy helping the department to grow and keep up with the community.”
The Assistant Fire Chief position became vacant with the promotion of Stuart Blasingame to the position of Fire Chief upon the retirement of long-time Fire Chief Ronnie Tucker.
Bryan Ausenbaugh, Prosper’s Fire Marshal, says Eft is a perfect fit with the Prosper Fire Department. He said he knew Eft was “the one” as soon as they interviewed him.
Eft began his career with the Frisco Fire Department as a volunteer in 1996. A year later, he was hired by the department full-time. After two years, he was promoted to Lieutenant, remaining in that position for five years. He was then promoted to Captain. After two years in that position, he was named Battalion Chief Shift Commander. This was followed by a promotion to Battalion Chief of Training/EMS/Special Operations, and in 2015, he was named Deputy Chief of Operations.
Eft has been recognized as Frisco Officer of the Year twice, in 2006 and 2012. His experience as a reservist with the US Marine Corps motivated him to serve as department manager for the Frisco Color and Honor Guard. His experience includes radio communications, budgeting, developing task books for each of the firefighter/paramedic ranks and has assisted in the development of departmental policies and procedures.
He completed several certification programs in the fire service through the appropriate state and local colleges and agencies, including Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic, Fire Instructor, Hazardous Materials Technician, Driver/Operator Pump, Advanced Firefighter, several levels of Fire Officer and Pro Board Fire Officer. He also completed the Fire Service Chief Executive Officer course at the Texas A&M Mays School of Business.
Just last month Eft opened a business in Frisco with his wife. They own a gourmet popcorn and candy store at Preston and Warren. Most of what they sell is handled over the counter in the store but they also sell online and at festivals.
Joyce Godwin | Special to the Prosper Times