Naples, Greater Naples fire chiefs among seven candidates for Marco Island fire post

Fire chiefs for the city of Naples and the Greater Naples Fire-Rescue District and a local retired deputy chief are three of seven candidates currently being considered for the fire-rescue chief position in the city of Marco Island, job application documents show.

The city received 19 job applications and began interviewing seven candidates last week, City Manager Mike McNees said. 

Marco Island Fire-Rescue Chief Michael D. Murphy, who has served the island as chief for the past 19 years, is retiring after 50 years in the fire-rescue service. His last day on the job will be July 31.

Marco Island Fire-Rescue Department Chief Michael Murphy poses for a portrait at Fire Station 50 in Marco Island on Tuesday, June 23, 2020. Chief Murphy will be retiring this year after 50 years of fire and EMS service. "It's a blessing," to be able to work as a firefighter, Chief Murphy said. "You are blessed by having two families: your one at home and your one at work."

Casey Lucius, assistant to the city manager, wrote in emails Wednesday that McNees may select the finalists as soon as next week, which will be followed by another round of interviews.

"City Council will not be taking part in the interview or selection process per our city charter," Lucius wrote.

The date of the final interviews was uncertain as of Wednesday, according to Lucius.

More:Marco Island City Council honors retiring Fire-Rescue Chief Michael Murphy

And:Marco Island Fire-Rescue Chief Murphy: Being a firefighter means having two families

Naples Fire Chief Pete DiMaria looks over papers during an interview, Thursday, May 16, 2019, at the Naples Fire Department Station No.1.

Pete DiMaria of the city of Naples became fire-rescue chief four years ago after rising through the ranks since 1989, starting as a firefighter, according to his resume. In 1991 he was promoted to driver engineer, in 1996 to lieutenant and in 2005 to battalion chief.

DiMaria graduated from Broward Fire Academy in 1989 and has taken several college courses since then.

He has led the city's COVID-19 mitigation strategies, created a five-year strategic plan for the department and managed a multi-million dollar project that incorporated the headquarters with Fire Station No. 1, including an emergency operations center, according to his application.

Greater Naples Fire Rescue District Chief Kingman Schuldt provides information in regards to the 36th Avenue South fire, Friday, May 15, 2020, at the Collier County Bureau of Emergency Services in East Naples.

Kingman D. Schuldt has been fire chief of the Greater Naples Fire-Rescue District since 2012, according to his resume. He began as a firefighter in Sunrise, Florida, in 1984 and became battalion chief 10 years later. In 2000, he became deputy chief in Tamarac, Florida.

Starting in late 2008, Schuldt briefly worked as administration and finance officer of the Boynton Beach fire department until he was hired in Naples as deputy chief in 2010. A year later he became assistant chief.

Schuldt graduated from Broward Community College with a degree in fire-science technology and from Barry University with a bachelor's degree in public administration, both obtained in the 1990s.

Schuldt has been involved in consolidating several fire districts and leading fire-rescue service agreements with the state Department of Transportation, Collier County and Everglades City.

Christopher Byrne, emergency management coordinator of the city of Marco Island since 2017, retired from the Marco fire-rescue department in 2016 as deputy chief after serving there for 33 years.

Chris Byrne, the city's emergency management coordinator, speaks during a Marco Island City Council meeting on June 15, 2020.

Byrne began his career as a firefighter and paramedic in1983 and became a driver engineer in 1991, according to his resume. Five years later he was promoted to lieutenant and in 1998 to shift commander.

Byrne graduated in 1989 from Edison Community College as a paramedic. In 1997, he graduated with an associate's degree in fire science and a professional degree in emergency medical services.

In 2003, Byrne graduated from Hodges University with a bachelor's degree in management.

As emergency management coordinator, Byrne is currently managing two federally declared disaster incidents: Hurricane Irma and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Byrne is responsible for the coordination of the city's FEMA Public Assistance project development, damage inventory and reimbursement process, property insurance claims and project manager for all city repair projects since Hurricane Irma made landfall on the island in 2017.

Other candidates are Roderick Wayne Moore, retired captain of Jacksonville Fire-Rescue; Jeffrey A. Lucas, deputy fire chief and fire marshal with Fort Lauderdale Fire-Rescue; Bruce D. Angier, district fire chief with Broward Sheriff's Fire-Rescue; and John F. Flynn, assistant chief with the New York Fire Department.

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