AP NEWS

Richmond mourns loss of public servant

February 21, 2019

Officials of Richmond and the Richmond Fire Department are mourning the death of Ray Burciaga, 57, who celebrated 28 years of public service this past December.

He began as a volunteer firefighter in 1981, and became a full-time firefighter 10 years later. He also served an arson investigator and fire captain before being appointed in 2007 to assistant emergency management coordinator. Three years later, he was appointed emergency management coordinator.

“As Division Chief of Emergency Management, Ray was instrumental in assisting many effected by recent flooding maneuver through requirements related to returning to their homes and understanding flood area challenges,” said Fire Chief Michael Youngblood. “Ray carried the heavy responsibility of supervising emergency management duties with integrity and confidence. These qualities served to calm and settle those around him.”

Youngblood said, “One quality that I enjoyed about Ray was in every incidence that I can think of, Ray never failed to put the best interest of the citizens as a primary consideration when decisions were being made. Ray put the needs of others first.

“Ray was one of the most versatile people I know,” continued Youngblood, “with experience and expertise as a commissioned peace officer, fire and arson investigator, building and fire inspector and emergency medical technician. All contributed to the education and knowledge to be a great chief of emergency management. Ray never stopped improving his abilities to lead.”

Burciaga died Feb. 17 of cancer. His funeral service is scheduled for Friday, March 1, at 2 p.m. at St. Faustina Catholic Church, 28102 FM 1093 in Fulshear.

Among comments posted by the Richmond Fire Department on Facebook included “Chief Burciaga (Ray) was a public servant in the true sense of the word. Ray’s presence will be missed, especially during emergency operations. His cool calm add professional manner provided a sense of tranquility.”

The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office wrote “We’ll miss him.”

And the Rosenberg Fire Department wrote, “Please keep our neighbors Richmond Fire Department in your thoughts and prayers as they have lost a great man. Rest easy Ray Burciaga, we will miss you.”

karen.zurawski@chron.com