City of Sparks authorities swore-in the newest fire chief Monday afternoon. With more than two decades of fire and rescue experience, Chief Chris Maples will now be in charge of the Sparks Fire Department. 

The firefighters continued a time-honored tradition to officially welcome the new fire chief. A spray of water from a hose marked the start of Chief Maples' new leadership. Maples also got a standing ovation as he took an oath at a small ceremony at Sparks City Hall. His son had the honor of putting his father's new badge on his uniform. And while this ceremony was all about Maples, he said it's his fellow firefighters who have made this all possible. 

"A fire chief can't do anything without the support and commitment of the people that actually go out and do the job. We have a very dedicated group of people at Sparks Fire," said Sparks Fire Chief Chris Maples.

Maples is a 21-year veteran of the fire department and has moved up the ranks in his career. According to the City of Sparks, Chief Chris Maples started his career with the Sparks Fire Department as a Firefighter in November of 1995.  He was promoted to Operator in 2001, Captain in 2007, and Battalion Chief in 2011.  In August of 2013, he was appointed Division Chief and is currently responsible for SFD’s training and administration division.

Maples will be taking over for Chief Tom Garrison, who says this new leader is ready to face the challenges ahead. 

"He started his career with Sparks Fire Department. He knows the issues. He knows the community. He knows the risks, whether it be wildland, hazardous materials or whether it be explosive growth," said former Sparks Fire Chief Tom Garrison. 

Chief Maples has a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Resource Management from the University of Nevada, Reno, and an Associate’s Degree in Fire Science from the Truckee Meadows Community College.  He served in the United States Navy from 1976 to 1980 and the Nevada Air National Guard from 1980 to 1984. Chief Maples is the 12th Chief of the Sparks Fire Department.

When asked what his goals are as the new chief, Maples said he will be focusing on the paramedic program the department is taking on.