Chief Tatum, a native of Fort Worth, Texas, began his fire service career with the Fort Worth Fire Department in 1985 at the age of 19. He retired from the city of Fort Worth after 31 years of service at the rank of Deputy Chief to become the 7th Fire Chief in the history of the Waco Fire Department in May 2016.
He graduated from Trimble Tech High School, earned an Associate’s degree in Fire Protection Technology from Tarrant County College, a Bachelor’s Degree from Midwestern State University, and a Master’s Degree in Leadership with an Emphasis in Disaster Preparedness and Executive Fire Leadership from Grand Canyon University.
Chief Tatum is a graduate of the United States Fire Administration, Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy (NFA) in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
In addition to being a basic peace officer, FBI trained bomb technician, and EMT (Emergency Medical Technician), he holds the following certifications with the Texas Commission on Fire Protection: Master Firefighter, Master Arson Investigator, Aircraft Fire Rescue Firefighter (ARFF), Fire Inspector, Field Examiner, Fire Officer I, Incident Safety Officer, Intermediate Fire Instructor, and Hazardous Materials Technician.
Chief Tatum is committed to education, professionalism and the community. He and his wife, Rosemarie, have four children and four grandchildren.