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30-year fire vet gets chief’s job in Tallahassee

Gaines

Though he's set to retire later this month, longtime Fort Wayne firefighter Jerome Gaines is headed to a new assignment in a new city.

After a 30-year career with the Fort Wayne Fire Department, Gaines is headed to Tallahassee, Florida, to serve as chief of its 280-member fire department.

According to the Fort Wayne Fire Department's website, Gaines currently works as assistant chief of operations.

During his career with the department, he has served as firefighter, lieutenant, captain, battalion chief, shift commander and assistant chief of operations, according to a statement from the fire department issued Monday afternoon.

The Tallahassee Fire Department has a budget of $33 million and is similar in size to the Fort Wayne Fire Department, according to the release.

Gaines will replace Tallahassee Fire Chief Cindy Dick, who announced her retirement in late March. Since she left the post, several interim chiefs have filled in at the position, the release said.

“It is bittersweet to be leaving the Fort Wayne Fire Department and the community we have called home for more than 30 years,” Gaines said in the written statement. “Yet, Tallahassee is a great city that is growing and has been very welcoming to myself and my family.

“As chief, I have the opportunity to take all the things I've learned during my career and apply them to the Tallahassee Fire Department.”

rgreen@jg.net

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