JACKSONVILLE, Texas (KETK) – Former Smith County Fire Marshal Paul Findley was announced on Wednesday as the incoming Jacksonville Fire Chief and Director of Emergency Management.

The Smith County Commissioners Court accepted Findley’s resignation on Tuesday, about two months after his appointment as fire marshal.

It’s a full circle moment for new Findley. “In some respects I’ve been going to work and hanging out down there since I was 4 and 5 years old,” said Findley.

Findley got his start in the fire service in Jacksonville, and the city said in a release that he is expected to start in mid-October.

“I am incredibly honored to serve my beloved hometown as fire chief. Leading the men and women of the department forward in service to this community is a humbling assignment,” Findley said.

A public welcome reception for Findley will be held on Oct. 24 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Public Safety Complex.

“I am thrilled by this announcement,” City Manager James Hubbard said. “Paul is returning with the fruits of dedication and growth to benefit our department and citizens. It is clear he values people and performance.”

Findley is returning to Jacksonville following the retirement of Keith Fortner who served in the organization for more than 22 years.

“I can’t think of a better way to wrap it all up by serving the community that raised you, “ said Findley.