The People Behind Dallas County: Robert De Los Santos

Robert De Los Santos, Dallas County Fire Marshal

This story is part of the Dallas County Messenger’s series showcasing the people serving Dallas County. Robert De Los Santos is a Fire Marshal in the Fire Marshal’s office.

Explain your specific role at the County. 

I am the Dallas County Fire Marshal/Chief. I work with three departments as one: Fire Marshal Office, County Marshals and Dallas County Fire Rescue.

Why are you passionate about your departments? Who or what at Dallas County motivates you to get out of bed each day?

The passion of life is to wake up and see what will happen today! As an administrator of the three departments—Fire Marshal Office, County Marshals and Dallas County Fire Rescue—my job is very interesting to say the least. It could be just coming to work to review and respond to emails, conducting an arrest for arson, working an active-shooter incident, responding to a fire or working an Ebola incident. 

What would County constituents be pleasantly surprised to learn about your department or the services it provides?

The Fire Marshal Office includes cross-trained individuals with about ten state certifications ranging from Police, Arson, Fire Inspections, Emergency Medical Technician, Fire Suppression, Wild-Land Firefighting, Haz-Mat Technician, Code Enforcement, American Disability Act (ADA) Investigator and Environmental Crimes Investigator.

“We make sure our employees and citizens are safe and secure while on County property.”

Robert De Los Santos, Fire Marshal

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

  1. Fire Marshal’s Office: 
    • We ensure compliance in fire inspection of all County buildings to make sure our employees and citizens are safe and secure. 
    • We govern and seek compliance of businesses in the unincorporated areas of the County.
    • We patrol to maintain and detour illegal dumping in the unincorporated areas of the County.
  2. Marshal’s Office: 
    • We provide Marshal/Security service to all the Dallas County buildings and properties dealing with building entrance screening. We make sure our employees and citizens are safe and secure while on County property. 
  3. Fire Department: 
    • We have the ability to provide fire suppression and medical assistance to the citizens of Dallas County in unincorporated areas that consist of about 79 square miles.  
    • We provide mutual aid to the local fire department at their request for help in fire suppression, hazardous material release or spills. 

“Our motto is to listen, analyze, create and work together to develop solutions.”

Robert De Los Santos, Fire Marshal

What’s an example of a creative solution your department deployed to improve a County process or help a County constituent?  

We created systems to improve the County’s ability to process American Disability Act (ADA) accommodation requests and general permit requests (from citizens, contractors or developers). We have the ability to work with citizens and departments in Dallas County. Our motto is to listen, analyze, create and work together to develop solutions. 

What is your favorite part of working for Dallas County?

Every day is a new day in Dallas County!!