Meet the Staff
Sam Greif Sr., Fire Chief
Chief Greif began his career as a Paramedic in 1982 and joined the Fort Worth Fire Department as a firefighter in 1985 where he worked his way up through the ranks to Assistant Chief of Operations. In June of 2015, after an extensive nationwide search, it was announced that Greif was selected as the new Fire Chief for the City of Plano.
Chief Greif holds an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Fire Science, Bachelor’s Degree in Leadership from Midwestern State University, a Master of Public Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington, and is a graduate of the National Fire Academy's Executive Fire Officer Program.
Chief Greif has served on numerous state and national boards and committees. He currently is the Chairman of the International CAD Consortium and was on the Board of Directors for Tarrant County 911 for eight years. He is a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), Metro Chiefs, Collin County Fire Chiefs, and is an active member of the Plano Rotary Club.
Chief Greif and his wife, Rosemary, have one son who followed in his father’s footsteps and is a firefighter with the Fort Worth Fire Department. Faith, family, and friends are staples in the Greif household. Together they are enthusiastic members of the community and enjoy golf, entertaining, camping, and serving the community.
Chris Biggerstaff, Assistant Chief of Support Services
Chief Biggerstaff joined the fire service on March 4, 1991, with the Garland Fire Department. On December 28, 1992, he began his career as a firefighter at Plano Fire-Rescue where he was awarded Rookie of the Year in 1993 and Officer of the Year in 2013. He has served the citizens of Plano in every rank up to his current position as Assistant Chief of Support Services.
Chief Biggerstaff holds an Associate in Arts and Science from Mountain View College, a Bachelors in Organizational Leadership from Texas A&M Commerce, and is currently working on a Masters in Leadership with an Emphasis in Disaster Preparedness and Executive Fire Leadership at Grand Canyon University. He is also participating in the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program.
Chief Biggerstaff serves on the Plano Chapter of the Salvation Army Advisory Council and teaches the Young Adult Class at his church. He and his wife, Marcy, have been married for 26 years, and they have a son, Matthew, and a daughter, Rachel. His wife and daughter are elementary school educators, and his son is studying to be a Civil Engineer at the University of Texas at Arlington. He enjoys activities with his family such as fishing, golf, hunting, and camping.
Chris Vike, Deputy Fire Chief
Chris began his career as a Firefighter/Paramedic with the Duncanville Fire Department in 1993. In 1997, he joined Plano Fire-Rescue as a Firefighter/Paramedic. Through promotions, he has held the positions of Driver/Engineer, Lieutenant, Captain and Deputy Chief. Currently, he is over the Department’s Logistics section.
Chris hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Amberton University.
When not at work Chris conducts his most important job of raising his four kids. In addition to that, he and the kids are active in their local Church. He enjoys football, camping, and spending time with family and friends.
Ron Cooper, Deputy Chief of Emergency Operations
Chief Cooper began his career in the Fire Service as a Fire Dispatcher with the Mesquite Fire Department in July, 1981. He was hired by Plano Fire Department in August, 1983 where he became a paramedic. He spent several years as a paramedic trainer before climbing the ranks to his current position of Deputy Chief of Emergency Operations for Plano Fire-Rescue.
Chief Cooper and his wife, Wendy, have four children and 10 grandchildren. They enjoy spending time with family and friends. They also enjoy serving their community and are strong in their faith.
Kelly Helm, Deputy Chief
Chief Helm began his career with Plano Fire-Rescue in February 1989. He worked his way up through the ranks to his current position as Deputy Chief over Administrative Services and Compliance. He has received numerous certifications to include Chief Fire Executive (CFE), Fire Service Chief Executive Officer and Fire Officer IV. As the Department’s Compliance/Privacy Officer, Chief Helm has received certifications as Compliance and Privacy Officer through the National Academy of Ambulance Compliance (NAAC).
Chief Helm is a current member of HCCA, (Health Care Compliance Association); NAAC, (National Academy of Ambulance Compliance); IAFC, (International Association of Fire Chiefs) and TFCA, (Texas Fire Chief’s Association).
Chief Helm married his high school sweetheart, Vickie, in 1983 and they have a daughter, a son and three grandchildren. Chief Helm and his wife enjoy spending time with family and traveling and camping in their RV. They are active members at First Baptist Church in Wylie.
Matt Nelson, Deputy Chief-EMS
Deputy Chief Nelson began with Plano Fire-Rescue December 17, 1984, graduated from his recruit class as Class President, and selected as Rookie of the Year in 1985. He was awarded Public Educator of the Year in 1986. He became a Paramedic in 1987 and worked his way up the ranks to Deputy Chief in 2015. He has worked in the Training Section prior to being assigned to the EMS Section.
Deputy Chief Nelson hired on with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, with a minor in History. He has worked on the Hazardous Materials Team, the High Angle Rescue Team, and currently oversees the Tactical Event Medics (TEMS) and Special Event Medics (SEMS) teams at Plano Fire-Rescue.
Deputy Chief Nelson has traveled to Texas A & M Fire School in College Station for Heavy Rescue I & II, Positive Ventilation Training and Public Education training. He completed the Training Program Management at the National Fire Academy (NFA) in Emmitsburg, MD. He is a member of International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), Texas Fire Chiefs Association (TFCA), and Fire Instructors Association of North Texas (FIANT).
Deputy Chief Nelson has one son who is a sophomore in college, as well as the decathlete for the track team. Deputy Chief Nelson is active in his church, and enjoys spending time with family and friends. He is an avid hiker, canoeist, and camper.
Marc Pate, Deputy Chief, Training Section
Marc Pate began his fire service career in 1994 as a firefighter for the City of Lewisville, Texas. In 1997 he transitioned to Plano Fire-Rescue, where he has served for the past 20 years. Marc has promoted through every rank to his current position of Deputy Fire Chief. As a Deputy Chief, he has served over the Operation Section and currently serves over the Training Section.
Marc received an Associate’s degree in Fire Science from Collin College, a Bachelor’s degree in Administrative Leadership from Texas A&M - Commerce, and he is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Texas A&M University. He holds a Fire Service, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) designation, Chief Fire Officer (CFO) designation and he is currently enrolled in the National Fire Academy, Executive Fire Officer Program (EFO). Marc is a Master Firefighter, a Hazardous Material Technician, Fire Officer IV, Incident Safety Officer, Emergency Medical Technician, and Fire Instructor II. He has received FEMA’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (COBRA), and National Incident Management System training. He has received training from the National Fire Academy on Managing Company Tactical Operations and Emergency Response to Terrorism.
Marc is on the Collin College, Fire Science Advisory Committee, and a member of the National Fire Protection Association, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the Texas State Fire Chiefs Association, the Metro-Crest Fire Chief Association, and Fire Instructors of North Texas. Before entering the fire service, Marc also served four years in the United States Marine Corps with distinction.
David Kerr, Deputy Chief - Fire Marshal
Deputy Chief Kerr began his career as a volunteer firefighter in Allen in 1973. From 1976-1978 he worked for the Richardson Fire Department and from 1980-1982 he was the Director of Fire Protection and Medical for Honeywell Optoelectronics. He served on the Farmers Branch Fire Department from 1982 until he joined Plano Fire Rescue in 1983. Kerr begin as the Fire Protection Engineer and was appointed Fire Marshal in September 2001.
Deputy Chief Kerr holds a Master of Public Administration from Texas A&M University and undergraduate degrees in Fire Protection and Safety Technology from Oklahoma State University and Public Administration from UT-Dallas and is a graduate of the National Fire Academy's Executive Fire Officer Program.
Deputy Chief Kerr has served on numerous state and national boards and committees. He currently Chairman of the Regional Code Correlating Committee for the North Texas Council of Governments where he has served for more than 30 years. He has served as a committee member on NFPA 72 the National Fire Alarm code for more than 30 years. He served on the board of directors for the International Fire Marshals Association for eight years and currently serves as the National Co-Chair for the US Fire Administration’s prevention programs. He currently serves on the International Fire Chiefs’ Executive Fire Officers’ board of directors. He is a member of the International Fire Marshals Association, International Fire Chiefs Association, Texas Fire Marshals Association and National Fire Protection Association.
Chief Kerr and his wife, Nancy, have two grown sons. Together they are active members of their local church where he serves on the Building and Land Committee. They are active members of their community where Nancy is a teacher and David is a 15 year member of the local school board. They enjoy traveling, hiking, gardening, and David is an avid snow skier.
Danny S. Burks Jr., Assistant Chief, Emergency Services Division
Chief Burks served in the Texas Air National Guard as structural and aircraft crash firefighter for six years and attained the rank of Sergeant. He was honorably discharged in 1991. He began his career with Plano Fire-Rescue in 1986. He attended paramedic school in 1988, soon became a paramedic field trainer, and received Paramedic of the Year in 1990. He served as the Department’s Training Chief and Safety Officer from 2007 to 2010. He received Fire Officer of the Year in 2006. Chief Burks is certified as a Master Firefighter, Fire Officer IV, Master Instructor, and Fire Inspector I. He promoted up through the ranks and was appointed Assistant Chief in 2014 where he currently serves. Chief Burks has over 80 hours of college and is working toward his degree.
Chief Burks was born in Dallas and grew up in Richardson, Texas. He and his wife, Wendy, have been married 26 years and have two adult sons, one of whom followed in his father’s footsteps and is a firefighter with Plano Fire-Rescue.