We are beginning a series of posts to become “up close and personal” with some of the finest men and women in the Fire Service – the personnel of Gilmer County Fire and Rescue. Today we’re proud to visit with our outstanding Fire Chief, Daniel Kauffman…
“My fire service career started soon after completing high school in Auburndale, Florida. I attended the Florida State Fire College in Ocala, Florida for my firefighter compliance, and the College of Central Florida Emergency Medical Technician program. I volunteered briefly with the South Marion Fire Department before gaining full time employment with Marion County Fire Rescue in 1988. Throughout that 30 year career I have served in the positions of firefighter, Lieutenant, Captain, District Captain, Battalion Chief (Safety Officer), and Battalion Chief (Shift Commander). I was also active in Special Operations, serving as the Hazardous Material Response Team Commander. I had a front row seat to rapid growth and I was able to be an active part of positive progression from a BLS department to an ALS department and eventually ALS patient transport. The career of a firefighter is that of a life-long student, always perfecting their craft. Over the years I have found the positive affect of continuing education not only on my fire service career, but also in my daily life. The completion of an Environmental Science, Fire Science, and Human Resource Management degrees better prepared me for the position of Fire Chief with Gilmer County Fire Rescue. Likewise, I would support and encourage all of our employees to continue their education and professional development.
“When the position of Fire Chief became available in Gilmer County, we were pleasantly surprised. Gilmer County Fire Rescue was one of the few places that could have brought me out of my 9 month retirement. While I really did not plan to start a second career in the fire service, I really feel that God opened a door here for us in Gilmer County. Our family had been vacationing in Ellijay since 2005 and loved the area with all the activities it presented. My wife Stephanie and our blended family of three girls (London, Hannah, and Neve) would make many trips from Florida during school breaks to enjoy the outdoor activities. Now that we are full time residents of Gilmer County, we usually can be found spending our weekends hiking with our rescue dog, Piper, who came from Homeward Bound Pet Rescue. We have recently purchased an RV and plan to venture outside of Gilmer County to see what else the beautiful North Georgia mountains have to offer. Our fresh start here has been met with new friends and great coworkers. The opportunity to work and play in an area we love has been such a blessing and we look forward to what our future holds here in Gilmer County.”
(article and photos of Daniel Kauffman provided by the Gilmer County Public Safety)