OVILLA – The Ovilla City Council has named current Ovilla Assistant Fire Chief Phillip Brancato as the city’s new fire chief.

Brancato has been with the Ovilla Fire Department for the past 17 years. He took the reins at the Ovilla Fire Department after long-time fire chief Donnie Pickard passed away in May 2012.

“I started as a part-time firefighter and in 2007 I was promoted to assistant fire chief,” Brancato said.

He has been working in fire service for the past 24 years and said he will still remain with the Midlothian Fire Department full-time.

Before being named to the new position, the council had gone into an executive session to discuss Brancato’s new role. All council members except Doug Hunt voted in favor of Brancato’s promotion.

The Ovilla Police Department also saw two new faces this month, Erin Guerrero and John Garcia. Both are graduates of the Navarro Police Academy and live locally in Ellis County.

“After working shorthanded for almost three months we are very glad to have these two officers aboard,” Ovilla Police Chief Mike Moon said.  “We are looking forward to getting them through their field training and getting them working on their own to augment our patrol staff.”

The city council also took  no action during executive session to give the new city administrator power to terminate department heads. Additionally, past interim city administrator Jacqueline Lee, who has been working with the city on a contract basis the past few months, has now presented the city with a personnel policy handbook while also having developing an employment classification and compensation study.