Fire Safety - University of Houston
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Fire & Life Safety

The University of Houston Fire Marshal's Office ensures that all buildings and activities meet Fire and Life Safety Codes as adopted.

The University of Houston Fire Marshal's Office is consists of the following individuals:


Chris McDonald – Director Fire and Life Safety/Fire Marshal #701

After serving four years in the U.S. Navy, Chris started his firefighting career with the El Paso, Texas Fire Department in 1989. There his assignments included: firefighter/EMT, Driver, Inspector, Juvenile Fire Setter Program Coordinator, Arson Investigator, Fire Academy Instructor, Field Training Officer, Lieutenant, and Captain. After his retirement from El Paso he joined the University of Houston Fire Marshal’s Office as a Deputy Fire Marshal and quickly moved up the ranks to Assistant Fire Marshal and then Fire Marshal. Chris holds a bachelor’s degree in business management and is a state certified Structural Firefighter, Fire Investigator, Fire Inspector, Plans Examiner, Instructor, Skills Examiner, and Head of Department – Prevention.



Sharon Pellas – Program Manager II

Sharon is a native Houstonian who graduated from the University of Houston in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and English Literature. Her career at the University of Houston started in 2007 as a college work-study with the Department of Public Safety. In 2011, Sharon joined as a full-time staff member has since been promoted several times within the University of Houston. Currently, she is the Program Manager II for Campus Safety, Environmental Health and Safety, and the Office of Fire Life Safety. Sharon is a proud Staff council Representative for Administration and Finance as well. Sharon volunteers a lot for campus events as part of her staff council role including events like Cougar Fire Impressions.



Wendell McCloud – Assistant Fire Marshal #702

Wendell has over 38 years of fire protection/fire prevention experience. He started his career as a damage control professional in the U.S. Navy. After his discharge from the service, he worked sales, installation and service of fire extinguishers and fire alarm systems prior to moving into fire prevention with the Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office where he spent 20 years as a licensing investigator. There his duties included ensuring that firms and individuals who sell, install, and service fire extinguishers, fire alarms and fire protection sprinkler systems comply with all codes and regulations to provide safe environments for all who encounter these systems.

Wendell joined the University of Houston Fire Marshal’s Office in 2013 as a Deputy Fire Marshal and was promoted to Assistant Fire Marshal shortly thereafter. He holds several state certifications including Fire Inspector, Fire Investigator, and Plans Examiner.



Steven Raymond – Assistant Fire Marshal-Sugarland/Katy

Steven has been working in fire and emergency services for 20 years. He started volunteering with his local fire department while in high school. After graduating, Steven served in the US Army as an Intelligence Analyst. While in the Army, he worked with fire departments around his duty stations. After leaving the Army, Steven’s volunteer career continued and he became an EMT. After several years he moved from treating injuries to prevention. Working for Amazon as a Safety Specialist before joining the UH Fire Marshal’s Office as a Deputy Fire Marshal in 2019. Steven holds state certifications for Fire Inspector and Plans Examiner. He also holds a Forensic Photographer certification and is a liaison with the Department of Homeland Security’s Bomb-Making Materials Awareness Program.



Stuart Sherman – Assistant Fire Marshal -Victoria Campus

Stuart started his firefighting career with the Midland, Texas Fire Department in 1986. There his assignments included; Firefighter/Paramedic, Fire Inspector, Arson Investigator, Fire Instructor, and he carried the rank of Captain. Stuart carried his training to the Victoria Fire Dept., where he carried the rank of Fire Marshal. After his retirement from Victoria, he joined the Texas Commission in Fire Protection as a compliance officer and then moved into the oilfield as a safety officer. Stuart began his tenure at University of Houston-Victoria in 2016 as the Assistant Fire Marshal and Emergency Manager. Stuart holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in management. Stuart graduated from the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program and holds state certifications of Firefighter, Fire Investigator, Arson Investigator, Fire Inspector, Instructor, and Peace Officer.



James Williams –Deputy Fire Marshal -Victoria Campus

James is new to the Fire Service. He has been involved in safety for the past 10 years. Also, he currently serves as the Coordinator of Environmental Health and Safety at UHV. His awareness and skills were a natural fit to obtain his state certification as a fire inspector in December of 2020. James holds two bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Chemistry as well as a master’s degree in Psychology.




Joshua Hahn – Deputy Fire Marshal #711

Josh is an 11-year veteran of the Fire/EMS service. He began his career as an EMT before becoming a Paramedic and firefighter in Missouri. Josh moved to Texas in 2015 to work in emergency medicine. During this time, he also worked to obtain the education and certifications necessary to work in a fire marshal’s office.  Josh joined the UH Fire Marshal’s Office in October of 2018 as a Deputy Fire Marshal. Josh has worked hard to progress his career, obtaining numerous state certifications including fire inspector, plans examiner, fire investigator, Paramedic (EMT-P), and is a Hazardous Materials Specialist. Josh also holds certification as a forensic photographer and administrative trainer for the US Department of Homeland Security’s Bomb-Making Materials Awareness Program. 



Marcus Hicks – Deputy Fire Marshal #712

Marcus has worked for the Houston Fire Department for 34 years. He has 26 years’ experience working in the Life Safety Bureau with 18 of those as a Senior Inspector. Marcus holds several state certifications including Master Certified Firefighter, Master Certified Inspector, Basic Fire Investigator and Plans Examiner 1. He has an associate degree in Fire Technology from Houston Community College, a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Education from Sam Houston State University and an Executive Masters degree in Public Administration from Texas Southern University. Marcus Joined the University of Houston as a Deputy Fire Marshal in 2021




Ernest Johnson – Deputy Fire Marshal #714

Ernest has been in the fire service and public safety for over 37 years, joining the Houston Fire Department in 1983. Ernest moved through the ranks from firefighter to Fire Inspector before coming to the University of Houston and serving as a Deputy Fire Marshal. During his time with the Houston Fire Department, he served in various roles including firefighter, engineer operator, paramedic, paramedic preceptor, paramedic skills instructor and fire inspector. While working for the Houston Fire Department Fire Marshal’s Office, Ernest was on the Special Operations Inspections Team and was responsible for pyrotechnic, conventions and special events. He has also worked closely with the City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Special Events to help ensure public safety for events such as Freedom Over Texas and the Super Bowl. He holds several state certifications including Structural Firefighter, Fire Inspector, Paramedic (EMT-P), Pyrotechnic Operator, Flame Effects Operator and Special Effects Operator.




Huey Joseph – Fire Safety Technician #721

Huey worked at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana for 16 years as a Maintenance and Fire Safety Inspector his duties included fire extinguisher maintenance, fire alarm response, and working with contractors serving life safety systems. After Hurricane Katrina hit his city of New Orleans, Huey moved to Houston, Texas and began his career at UH working first in security, then moving to food safety and finally fire extinguisher service and inspections.