By Elsa Maxey
Fort Bend County Judge Bob Hebert’s administration of the oath of office to Mark Flathouse makes him Fort Bend County’s new Fire Marshal. “He is sharp and innovative and is a firm believer in building a strong team as the basis for any successful endeavor,” said Judge Hebert as part of his welcoming the new fire marshal into the county’s operations.
Flathouse told the “Star” that he started his official duties last week on March 18. He packs 18 years of law enforcement experience, eight years in the U.S. Coast Guard, 11 years as a firefighter and EMT, and he now leads the county’s Fire Marshal’s Office under the direction of the commissioners court.
Flathouse, who was with the City of Victoria, worked his way up in the Victoria Fire Department ending his VFD career as the Assistant Fire Marshal, said a press release from the county. He was also a professor for three years at Victoria College in the Fire Academy and the Police Academy.
An Advanced Fire Inspector and Fire Investigator with state Arson Investigator and Intermediate Peace Officer TCLOSE certifications, Flathouse is completing an Executive Fire Officers Program at the National Fire Academy/FEMA in Maryland. He is an active member of the International Association of Arson Investigators and the Texas Fire Marshal Association.
Flathouse is a cum laude graduate of West Texas A&M with a bachelor’s degree in Emergency Management Administration. He is currently completing a master’s degree in criminal justice management and leadership at Sam Houston State University.
“I feel fortunate for the opportunity to work for Fort Bend County and to make improvements and efficiencies within the county.” He also told the “Star” on Monday that he will be moving his family from Victoria to Fort Bend in the near future after the school term wraps up. He and his wife, Lauren, have three children, ages 6, 4, and 7 months.
Flathouse takes over for Vance Cooper, who worked for Fort Bend County for 22 years and retired at the end of 2012, after 16 years as Fort Bend County’s Fire Marshal.