As the first Fire Chief / Licensed Paramedic combination in the Rio Grande Valley, South Texas, Chief Antonio Lopez manages a Combined Career Fire-EMS Department, Which is one of a few Fire-EMS Departments in the Rio Grande Valley and South Texas. Fire Chief Lopez holds a Master Firefighter Certification under the Texas Commission on Fire Protection, Texas Department of State Health Services Licensed Paramedic, and an Advanced Emergency Management Certification. Weslaco Fire Department responds to approximately 8500 Fire and EMS Emergency calls a year and is one of the busiest Fire Departments in the Region. With a pro-active approach to response and emphasis on higher education, Chief Lopez increased Fire Division training by 326%, and 4000 contact hours in advanced Paramedic training in the first year as Fire Chief. Several Community programs (MRC/CERT/TEEN CERT) based out of the Weslaco Fire Department have also been created to engage the community to be prepared and have involvement in response and recovery and pride of ownership of their City and Department.