Fire Administration

Les Stephens, Fire Chief

Fire Chief, Les Stephens
512-805-2660 Office
855-759-2842 Fax

Les Stephens is a career fire service professional with more than 27 years of experience, currently serving as the Fire Chief for the San Marcos Fire Department.

He began his career in 1988 as a Firefighter/Paramedic with the River Oaks Volunteer Fire Department and joined the Garland Fire Department (GFD) in 1991. While with GFD, Stephens held the positions of Firefighter/Paramedic, Driver, Lieutenant, Captain, and Battalion Chief. He received an Associate Degree in Fire Protection from Tarrant County College and will graduate in 2016 with a Bachelor's Degree in Applied Arts and Sciences and Certified Public Manager credentials from Texas State University. Stephens is a graduate of the National Fire Academy's Executive Fire Officer (EFO) program, and holds the Chief Fire Officer (CFO) designation from the Center for Public Safety Excellence. He received his EMT/Paramedic certification from Southwestern Medical School and currently serves as an Executive Board Member of the San Marcos/Hays County EMS, and an Advisory Board Member of Austin Community College's Fire Protection Technology Department. Stephens has served as an instructor for Collin College, Dallas Fire Department Recruit Academy, and Texas A&M Municipal Fire School. He is a published author and speaker for Fire Engineering Magazine and The recipient of numerous awards and honors, Stephens is a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, Texas Fire Chiefs Association, and Hays County Fire Chiefs Association.

Karl Kuhlman, Assistant Fire Chief

Assistant Fire Chief, Karl Kuhlman
Administration and Personnel

Karl Kuhlman has been a member of the San Marcos Fire Department since November 1994. He received his Firefighter Certification from College of the Mainland in Texas City. In 1999, Chief Kuhlman attended the Hays County Basic Peace Officer Course and has since served as a certified arson investigator for the Fire Marshal's Office.

Chief Kuhlman has served as a Firefighter, Engineer, Lieutenant, Battalion Chief and Division Chief. The second Assistant Fire Chief position was created in 2009 and Chief Kuhlman was appointed as the Assistant Chief over Operations and Training by Chief Les Stephens. In February of 2014 Chief Kuhlman changed roles, and became the new Assistant Chief over Administration and Personnel.

He received his BAAS degree from Texas State University - San Marcos, graduating Summa Cum Laude. He received his Associates degree in Fire Protection Technology from Austin Community College, graduating on the President's Honor Roll. He obtained his Certified Public Manager, (CPM) Certification from the William P. Hobby Center for Public Service. Chief Kuhlman was selected as a San Marcos Shining Star under age 40 by the community in 2011. In 2012, Chief Kuhlman graduated from the Texas Fire Chiefs Academy, thus earning the professional designation of Certified Fire Executive.

Rick Rowell, Assistant Fire Chief

Assistant Fire Chief, Rick Rowell
Operations and Training
512-805-2660 Office
855-759-2842 Fax

Rick Rowell began his fire fighting career in 1980 when he joined with the Amarillo Fire Department.

Chief Rowell joined the San Marcos Fire Department in 1986. After promoting to Lieutenant, he spent 10 years as an engine company officer. Rowell spent nine years as a Shift Commander - first as a Captain and later as Battalion Chief before being appointed Assistant Chief of Operations and Training in February of 2014.

Chief Rowell holds certifications as a Hazardous Materials Technician, Fire investigator, Fire Inspector, Incident Safety Officer, Instructor II, and Fire Officer IV. He also graduated the Travis County Sheriff's Academy Basic Peace Officer Course, and is a National Registry Emergency Medical Technician. He is a graduate of the Texas Fire Chiefs' Academy and was the San Marcos Fire Department Fire Officer of the Year in 2012.

Rowell served in the United States Army Security Agency from 1975 to 1979. For one and a half years he was stationed in California in the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center learning Russian. After a brief stop in Washington D.C., he was deployed to Germany for two years.