Jacksonville fire chief retiring after 25 years with department

Operations Chief Keith Powers will take over for Kurtis Wilson on interim basis

By Garrett Pelican - Digital executive producer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Fire Chief Kurtis Wilson is retiring at the end of the month following a 25-year career with the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, the city announced Wednesday.

Mayor Lenny Curry has tapped Operations Division Chief Keith Powers to take over for Wilson temporarily until a permanent replacement is named.

Powers

“Chief Wilson has been an exemplary for the men and woman of JFRD and I wish him and his family the best,” Curry said. “Our firefighters are some of the best in the business and continuously set the bar for departments across the nation.”

Wilson, who began his career with the fire department in 1993, will officially retire May 31. He was appointed to lead JFRD in August 2015 after stints as captain of Station 21 and chief of administrative services, fire prevention and operations.

Powers, a 23-year veteran of the fire department, was selected in August 2015 to become chief of operations, the largest division in the department. In that role, he was responsible for managing more than 900 employees.

“I look forward to working with Chief Powers in the coming months as we continue to identify and develop innovative solutions and best practices to improve the health and safety of Jacksonville citizens,” the mayor said.

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