Mike Wisko has been Fire Chief since 2013. He began his career in Galveston in October 1988 and promoted to Engineer in 1991, Captain in 2004, Training Chief in 2008 and Assistant Chief in 2010. Chief Wisko is a third generation Galveston Firefighter following in the footsteps of his father retired Fire Chief Willie Wisko and grandfather retired Asst. Chief Wallace Graves.
Chief Wisko holds a Master Firefighter certification along with several other Texas Commission on Fire Protection certifications and has been a Paramedic since 1989. He is a 2012 graduate of the Texas Fire Chief’s academy as well as a 2016 graduate of the Texas A & M University May’s School of Business, Fire Service Chief Executive Officer Program.
During his 29 year career in Galveston, Chief Wisko has responded to disasters across the State of Texas and the United States including The Murrah Federal Building Bombing in Oklahoma City in 1995, Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana in 2005, Hurricane Alex in 2010, the Wildfires in Bastrop and Magnolia in 2011 and the Fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas in 2013. He is also a proud member of Texas Task Force 1.
In addition, he has served on several fire service boards and committees including the Firefighter Advisory Committee of the Texas Commission on Fire Protection, the Galveston County Firefighter’s Association and the Texas Fire Chief’s Association Executive Board.
Assistant Fire Chief Richie Pearson is a 26 year veteran, joining the department in July 1991. Chief Pearson promoted through the ranks of Firefighter, Engineer and Captain before he was appointed Asst. Chief in October 2015. He holds his Advanced certified Firefighter certification with both TCFP & SFFMA and is an EMT.
During his career, Chief Pearson has served on the Executive Board of the Galveston County Firefighter’s Association and has been an instructor during the TEEX annual fire school. In addition, Chief Pearson has over 30 years as a volunteer with the Santa Fe Fire & Rescue, currently serving as Deputy Chief. In 2005, Chief Pearson received the Firefighter of the Year award from both the Galveston County Firefighter’s Association and the Gulf Coast Firefighter’s Association.