Fire Administration

Executive Deputy Chief:
R.M. Bergerson


Chief Bergerson began his career as a firefighter in the Austin area in 1993, before joining the Waco Fire Department on August 18, 1997. He has held or served temporarily in every rank of the Department before being promoted to Deputy Chief on October 18, 2017. His leadership has been instrumental in implementing many changes within the Waco Fire Department and was an integral part of the team achieving the Department’s Class 1 ISO insurance rating. He serves as second-in-command of the Department and supervises Administration and Support Services while coordinating with other Branches to maintain effective operations and leads numerous special projects.

He has earned a Master of Liberal Studies degree in Public Administration from Fort Hays State University, a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership from Mountain State University, and an Associate of Applied Science in Fire Services Administration from Weatherford College. A 2019 graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer (EFO) Program, Chief Bergerson has also been awarded the prestigious Chief Fire Officer (CFO) designation from the Center for Public Safety Excellence. As a graduate of the Texas Fire Chiefs Academy, he has also earned the professional designation as a Certified Fire Executive (CFE). In 2023, Chief Bergerson completed the International Association of Fire Chief's Fire Service Executive Development Institute (FSEDI) program and is one of less than 250 FSEDI graduates in the U.S. and Canada.

Chief Bergerson holds Master Firefighter, Master Aircraft Rescue Firefighter, Fire Officer IV, Incident Safety Officer, Hazardous Materials Technician, Hazardous Materials Incident Commander, Incident Commander, and Fire Service Instructor III-Master certifications from the Texas Commission on Fire Protection, and EMT-Basic from the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Chief Bergerson enjoys sharing his knowledge with others as a faculty member at Austin Community College, instructs incident command and leadership nationally, and is also a published contributor for Fire Engineering  and FireFighter Nation magazines.

Contact Chief Bergerson

Deputy Chief of Emergency Operations:
Patrick Veselka

Patrick Veselka

Deputy Chief Veselka began his career in September 1995 at Travis County ESD 6 and joined the Waco Fire Department in March 1999. Additionally, he serves as the Accreditation Manager for the Waco Fire Department.

He has earned an associate degree in Fire Protection from Austin Community College, a bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University in Fire Administration, and currently working toward a master’s degree in Public Administration from Fort Hays State University. Additionally, Chief Veselka completed the Managing Officer Program from the National Fire Academy and the Executive Fire Officer Program.

Chief Veselka holds a Master Firefighter, Fire Officer IV, Instructor III, Incident Safety Officer, HazMat Commander, and Incident Commander from the Texas Commission on Fire Protection. He is also a certified paramedic

Contact Chief Veselka

Deputy Chief of Community Risk Reduction/Fire Marshal:
Currently Vacant