We would like to take the time to introduce our amazing staff and the people.Iterim Fire Chief/Fire Marshal Roger Williams
Williams joined the department in September 2019 serving as the interim Fire Marshal through Strategic Government Resources. Williams retired from the Salina Fire Department, Salina Kansas in August 2017, to move to Texas to support his wife Rebecca during her battle with Stage 4 Breast Cancer.
Williams accepted a full-time position with the department in February 2020 as an Assistant Fire Chief and Fire Marshal. Williams began his public safety career, with the Nassau Bay Volunteer Fire Department in Nassau Bay Texas. He has a vast array of training, knowledge, and experience including work with FEMA, Homeland Security, and the National Disaster Medical System where he served on Oklahoma 1’s Disaster Medical Assistance Team. Williams's extensive knowledge in Economic Development will prove helpful during the community’s growth and development stages. Besides his role as Fire Marshal, during his service in Kansas Williams also served as Arson Investigator, Reserve Deputy for the Saline County Sheriff’s Department. He served on numerous boards and committees including President of the Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Association, a member of the Kansas Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI), and a member of the International Fire Marshal’s Association. Williams was a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, International Code Council, and the National Fire Protection Association where he served on the Building Fire Safety Systems, Education, and Fire Service Sections.
Williams holds a degree in Fire Science along with many other certifications from both Kansas and Texas. Williams is also a Certified Coach, Speaker, and Trainer with the John Maxwell Team. Williams is a widower and was married for 25 years. Williams currently resides in Magnolia Texas with his 17-year-old daughter Ryle, who is a Junior at Magnolia High School. Upon graduation from High School Ryle intends to further her education at Texas A&M University.
Assistant Chief Brian Scheffer
Scheffer joined as a volunteer in May 1997 and promoted to the rank of Apparatus Operator in July 2000 and then to Captain in September 2012 and to Assistant Chief in 2015. He also serves as the Department's Training Coordinator which he has held since January 2001. Scheffer was named Firefighter of the Year in 2001 and 2008. Scheffer was the Firefighter of the Year for Central Texas Firemen's & Fire Marshall in 2002 and first runner-up for Firefighter of the Year for the State Fireman's & Fire Marshall's Association in 2003.
Scheffer currently holds Master Firefighter through State Fireman's & Fire Marshall's Association, Advanced Firefighter, Fire Investigator, Fire Officer II, Instructor III, Hazmat Technician, Hazmat IC, Wildland Firefighter, Incident Safety Officer & Driver Operator certifications thru the Texas Commission on of Fire Protection. Scheffer is an American Heart Association CPR Instructor and is currently on the Certification Board for the SFFMA. Scheffer has been a Guest Instructor for Texas Fireman's Training School since 2004 and is an Adjunct Instructor for TEEX.
Scheffer married Shelley Markwardt in 2004 and they have a son Brayden and daughter Quinly.
First Assistant Chief Ronald Bentke - (Volunteer)
Ronald Bentke is a lifelong resident of Washington County. He graduated from Brenham High School in 1985. He joined the Mound Hill, Cedar Hill & Gay Hill Fire Department in 1984. In 1989, he married Jeri and moved to the City of Brenham. In March 1992, he joined the Brenham Fire Department. Ronald was elected to the position of First Assistant in January 2010. Prior to that, he served as District Chief.
Bentke attained his Master Firefighter Certification from the State Firefighters' and Fire Marshals' Association, Accredited Advanced Firefighter, Fire Officer I, Instructor I, Hazmat Technician, Wildland Firefighter, Vehicle Extrication Technician, and Incident Safety Officer.
Bentke oversees the maintenance at the Fireman's Training Center and he heads up the Department's annual Fish Fry and is very active in all Department fundraisers.
Bentke was named Firefighter of the Year in 2000 and again in 2010. In 2011, he was named Firefighter of the Year for Central Texas Firemen's & Fire Marshall Association. Then in 2012, he was Runner-up Firefighter of the Year by the State Firemen's & Fire Marshals' Association. He and his wife Jeri have two children Kyle and Ashley. Bentke has worked for Blue Bell Creameries for 32 years.
2nd Assistant Chief Robert Aguilar - (Volunteer)
Rob Aguilar moved to Brenham in 2007 from San Antonio after his retirement from the San Antonio Fire Department. His career spanned 34 years and he served the Department and the citizens of San Antonio in various capacities including Firefighter, Engineer/Fire Apparatus Operator, Lieutenant, Hazmat Technician, Emergency Medical Technician, Company Officer, Instructor.
He currently holds a Firefighter Master Certification from the Texas Commission on Fire Protection; an Associate's Degree in Fire Science from San Antonio College; a Bachelor of Science Degree from Suffield University. He also holds several other fire-related certifications.
Rob joined the Brenham Fire Department in September of 2009 where he has served as a Firefighter and District Chief. Rob will assist with the maintenance and operation of the Fireman's Training Center, Training of Firefighters, Examination Committee, Fire Prevention Duties, Firefighting, and in any other capacity that will assist in the further betterment of the Department and its service to the citizens of Brenham and Washington County.
Rob has been married to his wife Wanda since 1970; he has 2 children and 3 grandchildren.
Administrative Secretary Carrie Derkowski
Carrie has spent most of her life in Brenham, moving from Houston with her family in 1976. She comes from a big family one of six children. She graduated from Brenham High School in 1992, attended Blinn, and graduated from a Business School in Austin in 1994. Shortly after, she married her husband, Shawn Derkowski, in 1996. Shawn is employed at MIC Group and has been there for 27 years. They have two sons, Austin & Brayden. Austin is attending Texas A&M majoring in Engineering and will be applying for Mechanical Engineering next Fall. Brayden is a Freshman at Brenham High School and plays Baseball, competes on the BHS AnglerTeam, plays tournament ball with the Batter’s Box, participates in the Texas Brigades, and is a member of Bluebonnet 4-H showing Rabbits at the County Fair. They are members of St. Mary's Catholic Church. In Carrie's spare time she enjoys traveling, cooking, decorating, shopping, and most of all spending time with her family & friends.
Captain Gregory (Tank) Nienstedt
Tank joined the Brenham Fire Department as a volunteer in April 1983. He served as Training Coordinator and Second Assistant Chief (Volunteer Ranks). Tank promoted from the volunteers to Apparatus Operator in April 2000 and promoted to Captain in October of 2013. He currently holds a Master Certification through State Fireman's and Fire Marshal Association and IFSAC Certificates in Advanced Fire Fighter, Hazmat Tech, Instructor II, Investigator Advanced, Wild Land, Incident Safety Officer, and Driver Operator through the Texas Commission on Fire Protection.
Tank is the Captain of A Shift which takes care of PPE, SCBA, and Hose. Tank is married to Susan who also works at the city and has two daughters Lucy and Lily. Tank teaches at Texas A & M Annual School and enjoys teaching in the Brenham Fire Department. Tank enjoys hunting and fishing and spending time with his family.
Lieutenant Position Brent Folsom
Folsom joined the Brenham Fire Department in 2015 as a volunteer and then promoted to Apparatus Operator in April 2016. Brent is a graduate of Brenham High School in 2004 and later received his Associate's degree in Fire Science from Blinn College.
Brent graduated from the Texas A&M Fire Academy in 2015 and received his firefighter-basic shortly after. He is also a certified EMT-Paramedic, Hazmat Technician, and Swift Water Rescue Technician. He started out his fire career at College Station Fire Department and then came back to Brenham to serve the community where he was raised. Brent and his wife, Jenny, were married in July of 2018.
Apparatus Operator Ryan Swor
Ryan Swor has served with the Brenham Fire Department since 2014, beginning as a Volunteer Firefighter. He graduated from the Texas A&M Fire Academy in 2015 and was promoted to Apparatus Operator in January 2016. He is currently an Intermediate Firefighter and a member of the Washington County Special Operations Division. Ryan is a certified Emergency Medical Technician and holds certifications in NIMS 100, 200, 300, 400, 700, 800, Driver Operator (Pumper and Aerial), Fire Officer I, Fire Instructor, Fire Inspector, Vehicle Extrication I & II, Wild Land Firefighter, Washington County EMS Rope Rescue I & II.
As a member of Texas A&M Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue, Ryan holds additional certifications in Swift Water Rescue Technician, Flood Water Boat Operator, Swift Water Boat Operator, and is a Squad Officer within Washington County’s Texas A&M Task Force 1 bailment team.
Ryan received public commendation from Texas Governor Greg Abbott and a Life-Saving Award of Valor from Texas A&M Task Force 1 for saving 3 Lives during Hurricane Hanna in 2020.
Apparatus Operator Samuel Chase Jones
Samuel Chase Jones was born and raised in Bryan Texas. Chase attended TEEX fire academy in 2009 and received his EMT- Basic and basic Fire Certification through Texas Commission on Fire Protection. Chase started working for St. Joseph EMS in 2010 and still works there on his days off. He started with the Brenham Fire Department in January 2017 and recently achieved his Driver Operator Certification. He has enjoyed his short time with BFD and is looking forward to growing his career along with the continued growth of the City.
During deer season, Chase is a hunting guide in the Texas hill country and enjoys spending time on his family's land. Chase married Brittany Krolczyk in July of 2014 and they moved to Washington County in January 2017. Chase and Brittany have a daughter and son, Nora & Samuel.
Apparatus Operator Vacant
Captain of B Shift Josh Sebastian
Joshua is a lifelong resident of Brenham and joined the Brenham Fire Department as a volunteer in 2004. He graduated from Brenham High School in 2004 and in 2005 graduated from Texas A&M Fire Academy. He was promoted in 2010 to Apparatus Operator and holds his Advanced Firefighter, Fire Officer II, Wildland Certification, Driver Operator, Hazmat Tech, and he plays a role in the Fire Prevention play as "Hoser". In 2017 he was promoted to Captain of B-Shift. Josh and his lovely wife were married in March 2009 and their family grew with the birth of their daughter "Addelyn" in 2014.
Lieutenant Andrew Jozwiak
Andrew Jozwiak joined the department as a volunteer in February 2004. He attended Texas A&M Fire Academy and promoted to Apparatus Operator in April of 2007. He holds an Advanced Certification through the Texas Commission on Fire Protection and Driver, Aerial Operator and Instructor I certifications, Fire Officer II, and Basic Wildland Certification.
Andrew helped the truck committee design trucks for the Fire Department since 2006. He is a member of the Texas Association of Emergency Vehicle Technicians and does an excellent job as the Departments EVT. Andrew got Fireman of the year in 2015 and Central Texas Fireman of the year in 2015. He has a son named Michael Jozwiak. Michael was a mascot for the Brenham Fire Department in 2017.
Apparatus Operator Joe Hinds
Joe joined the Brenham Fire Department in January 2017. He was born and raised in Brenham, Texas, graduated from Brenham High School in 2007, went to college and graduated from Sam Houston State University. Joe attended TEEX during the summer of 2016; he was a member of the online recruit class 13. He then went through the EMS program at Blinn College and became a certified EMT. Joe carries the certification for Vehicle Extrication Technician I. Joe has obtained his Class B license and completed the Driver/Operator class through the Brenham Fire Department.
Joe and his wife, Crystal, were married in June of 2018. His parents are Jeff, Julie Hinds, his mom is a teacher at the High School, and his dad is a manager at the Washington County Fairgrounds. During his time off, he enjoys spending time with his nieces as well as umpiring high school baseball.
Apparatus Operator Matt Janner
Janner has been a volunteer since 2017 and was promoted to Apparatus Operator in May of 2019. He is a life-time Brenham resident and graduated in 2004 from Brenham High school. He is a graduate of the Brenham Fire Academy class BFD-005. He holds his Texas Commission basic fire certification, Wildland certification, vehicle extrication 1 certification, and his Emergency Medical Responder certification.
He married his wife Janessa in 2010 and has two boys, Hudson and Nolan. He enjoys spending time outdoors and with his family during his time off.
Apparatus Operator Vacant
Captain of C Shift Brett Schroeder
Schroeder joined the Brenham Fire Department as a volunteer in 2001. He is a lifelong resident of Brenham and is a 2000 Graduate of Brenham High School. Schroeder is also a graduate of Texas A&M Fire Academy in 2001. He promoted in June of 2003 to an Apparatus Operator. Then promoted to C Shift Captain in 2016 Schroeder. He handles all fleet maintenance and small engine maintenance. He currently holds the Texas Commission on Fire Protection Advanced Certification, Driver operator, Wildland firefighter, Hazmat operations, fire officer one and two, Emergency Vehicle Tech., and Instructor I Certifications. Schroeder was named Fire Fighter of the year in 2014. Schroeder also plays a key role in the department's design team on new apparatus since 2006.
Schroeder and his wife Jennifer were married in August of 2006. Schroeder and his wife love spending time at the coast or just being outdoors and spending time with their pets.
Lieutenant Justin Schroeder
Schroeder is a graduate of Brenham High School class of 2004. He attended TEEX Recruit Academy #117 and EMT Basic in 2005. Schroeder began his fire service career in 2010 with the Brenham Fire Department as an Apparatus Operator. Schroeder Promoted to A Shift Lieutenant in 2017.
Schroeder holds Intermediate Fire Fighter, EMT-Basic, Basic Wildland, Instructor1, and Fire officer 2 certifications.
Schroeder Married Janice in 2009 and they have 2 children Jaxon and Jase. Schroeder enjoys spending time with family and the outdoors.
Apparatus Operator Rhye Moschak
Rhye joined the fire department in 2013 as a volunteer until he promoted to apparatus operator in January 2017. Rhye graduated from Brenham High School in 2011. In 2013, Rhye attended the first fire academy class BFD-001 at the Brenham Fire Department. He holds a basic certification thru the Texas Commission on Fire Protection. Rhye is married to Amy Moschak. In their spare time, they enjoy being outside fishing or hunting and being with friends and family. Rhye and Amy were married in August 2017.
Apparatus Operator Jeff Paul
Jeff joined the Fire Department in August of this year! He has lived in the Caldwell and Snook area for the past 30 years! Graduated High School from Brazos Christian School in 2003 and is a 2007 graduate of the Texas A&M Fire Academy.
He is experienced in teaching and evaluating rope rescue, confined space, trench, vehicle extrication, swift-water, and structural collapse. He is certified in Firefighter Advanced, Instructor & Fire Officer I & II. His National Certifications include Rope Rescue I & II, Confined Space Rescue I & II, Trench Rescue I & II, Incipient Industrial Fire Brigade Member, Hazmat Tech & Incident Commander, NFPA 1081/1006/1021/472 & Emergency Medical Technician. Jeff also has specialized training in Structural Collapse I & II, Advanced Structural Collapse III, IV & V, Swift Water Rescue I & II, Advanced Firefighter Certification Course, NIMS 100/200/701/702/703/704/800, TEEX USAR Rescue Specialist & TEEX Industrial Emergency Response Specialist.
Jeff enjoys spending time with his Son, Brody! He is an avid sports clay shooter and enjoys fishing & hunting in his spare time.
Apparatus Operator James (J.C.) Knipstein
James (J.C.) Knipstein is a lifelong resident of Brenham and joined the department as a volunteer in 2011. J.C. worked as a Houston Firefighter/EMT for 8 years before being hired on in Brenham, full-time in February 2020. J.C. is a 1999 graduate of Brenham High School and a 2006 graduate of the University of North Texas. J.C. and his wife Tara and have 4 children, 3 boys, and one girl, and spent their time going to the numerous sporting events the kids are in.