New Fire Chief Named Acting Deputy Public Safety Director

August 15, 2018

New Fire Chief Rusty Nail is now acting as deputy public safety director for Escambia County. He will be responsible for the direction of both Escambia Fire Rescue and Escambia County EMS rather than a chief over each division.

“Both fire and EMS work together pretty much collectively, so instead of multiple people in charge, it will go through a single person to increase our efficiencies,” Public Safety Director Mike Weaver said Tuesday.

“Over the next several months we will be taking a deeper look at how we are organized to ensure that we have the best structure for lines of authority, responsibility, accountability and formal communication,” Weaver said, who notes the growth of Escambia County’s fire and EMS over the past few years.” He said many Escambia Fire-Rescue and EMS personnel will be involved in the evaluations and discussions.

Weaver added that combination paid and volunteer fire department remains a good model for Escambia County, and volunteers will remain in the department’s future.

Nail was named fire chief in April and started work in May.  He joine  Escambia County with over 26 years of experience as an accomplished chief fire officer including more than 12 years of supervisory and nine years of command-level experience, mostly in a fast-paced, large metropolitan fire department of 17 stations, with over 500 personnel and a budget of up to $100 million.

Nail joined Escambia County from Palm Bay, FL, where he served as the City of Palm Bay Fire Rescue fire chief and emergency manager and previously served as a battalion chief. Nail graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in fire and emergency services management and from Brevard Community College with an Associate of Arts in general studies and Associate of Science in fire science technology.

Prior to his tenure at Palm Bay, Nail worked for the City of Orlando Fire Department for more than 20 years, serving as assistant fire chief, assistant chief of planning, district chief and retiring as the deputy chief. Nail’s experience also includes working as a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician.

Escambia County’s EMS director resigned at the end of June.


5 Responses to “New Fire Chief Named Acting Deputy Public Safety Director”

  1. nod off on August 16th, 2018 1:09 pm

    “local” talent is too rooted in back porch deals and good ole boy crap. this was a nationwide search for a fire chief and thru a series of events that were well in control of the PS director’s oversight this has occurred. this hick town is growing by leaps and bounds and he works a full 40+ that includes after hours events and meetings.

  2. Ben Kiszkiel on August 16th, 2018 10:43 am

    congratulations brother, keep moving forward

  3. Knothead on August 15th, 2018 4:36 pm

    Congratulations Chief and welcome to our little town LoL

  4. Mia on August 15th, 2018 3:09 pm

    Congratulations! If there is a fireman’s ball and you need a date, I know someone who would be able to go with you…just saying for a friend. But seriously, you should be paid more for doing both jobs.

  5. nod on August 15th, 2018 11:45 am

    does his pay double since he is wearing two hats. to bad there are not any local people smart enough to do one of his jobs. why do we always look at the grass on the other side of the fence when looking to fill a position. with all his experienced in a large fast paced metro area he should be able to handle this hick town working three half days per week. what gives.

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