Jonathan Boyd is Allen's fire chief and a longtime Allen resident. In addition to his duties with the fire department, Boyd and his four brothers run a foundation that offers scholarships to the Collin College Fire Academy for individuals who have a financial need.
How did you get involved with Allen FD?
I graduated from the Collin College Fire Academy in 1993 and Paramedic school in 1994. The firefighter testing process at the time was very competitive with most departments hiring for just a few positions. Fortunately, in 1996 the Allen Fire Department was preparing to open Station 3 and needed 12 new firefighters. I went through the process with over 150 other candidates. In order to accommodate the crowd of applicants the written test was given at the Green Elementary cafeteria and the physical fitness test was given at the old Eagle Stadium. The written test and physical fitness test whittled the crowd down and I was somehow able to impress at the interview. I reported for my first day with the AFD at the old Central Fire Station on Sept. 30, 1996.
Where were you beforehand?
Prior to my career with the AFD, I served as a Paramedic with Bells/Savoy Ambulance and Whitewright EMS. Both Bells/Savoy and Whitewright were small towns with a low demand for emergency medical services, but the long response times and long hospital transport times frequently turned minor emergencies into very life-threatening situations. The years I spent serving these rural communities provided me with invaluable experience on a wide variety of emergencies.
What's been the most rewarding aspect of being AFD Chief?
There are two aspects of being the AFD Chief that are incredibly rewarding. First, our community is very supportive of our mission to protect life and property. There has not been a challenge or need in the 26 years I have been part of this community where we have wanted for equipment or personnel to provide excellent service. The way our community rallies together reminds me of the small towns I previously served and there is a real sense that we are in this together, a sense of community. Second, the team I get to be a part of is very rewarding. Our community has some of the finest men and women, who are dedicated to the common cause of helping others. The Assistant Chiefs, Division Chiefs, and Battalion Chiefs have 20-plus years with the AFD, and many of them started near the same time as myself. I consider them the “dream team” and I am lucky to be a part of it.
Tell our readers about your charity.
I have four brothers who are also firefighters, and we all are very grateful for our rewarding careers in the fire service. All of us also were able to find our careers after attending the Collin College Fire Academy. In an effort to encourage careers in the fire service and to give back, we started the Boyd Family Foundation. The Boyd Family Foundation provides full-ride scholarships to the Collin College Fire Academy for individuals who have a financial need and may not otherwise be able to attend the Fire Academy. The charity is fairly new, but we are proud to have helped one individual through the academy. The new firefighter recently started a career with the Mesquite Fire Department. We are also happy to have helped two more who have recently enrolled and should graduate next spring. Our next goal is to help three individuals with scholarships each year.
What's your fondest childhood memory?
My grandparents lived in Colorado Springs so every summer we would spend a couple of weeks camping and fishing throughout Colorado. I have great memories of fishing for trout with my grandpa in some of his best, top secret, spots amongst the incredible scenery of the Rocky Mountains. Hiking with my siblings to the top of many fourteeners and seeing that endless view of snowcapped peaks will forever be one of my fondest memories.
What is one of the strangest calls you’ve been on?
Unfortunately, in our line of work strange and tragic are frequently co-mingled and while the question is frequently asked of most firefighters, most firefighters are reluctant to share their strangest call as it will most likely sound fairly tragic. So, if I may, I’ll reword the question to, what is the most rewarding call I’ve been on. The most rewarding call I have been on is my very first call as an Allen Firefighter. It was a car accident at Bandy Lane and Allen Heights. Of course, that is now Bethany and Allen Heights, but at the time Bandy Lane was being widened to become Bethany. I remember getting the call and hurrying to put on my new firefighter gear, riding in the fire truck through town with a seasoned captain and driver who seemed unbothered by the emergency response. As for me I couldn’t believe I had finally made it. After three years of testing and trying to get hired by a fire department, there I was responding as an actual professional firefighter. I remember looking over at my fellow new firefighter in the back of the truck, he had the same smile on his face, and we shared a fist bump.
How long have you lived in the area?
I grew up outside of Trenton, Texas, and lived there until moving to McKinney when I was hired by Allen. After meeting my wife in 2002 we initially lived in McKinney, and then in 2005 we built a house in Allen. We have lived in Allen ever since and our two children attend school in Allen ISD. Our son is at the Allen High School and our daughter attends Ford Middle School.
What are your hobbies?
I love to travel, and my wife and I have been to Europe, China, Hong Kong, UK, Mexico, Costa Rica, and several Caribbean islands. I also continue to make annual trips to Colorado for hiking, fishing, and snow skiing. Recently I’ve tried my hand at golf and despite new clubs, lessons, and hours at the range, it has continued to thoroughly humble me.
If you were on a deserted island, what is the one item you couldn't live without?
I always wondered why people didn’t answer this question with, a boat. Assuming boats, helicopters, and satellite phones are not allowed, I think I would like a good pillow. Need a good night’s sleep to figure out how to survive on the island.
Tell our readers something about you they would never guess to be true.
I have 8 brothers and 3 sisters.