John C. Gilbert
The village of Key Biscayne (FL) Fire Rescue Department's fire chief and emergency management coordinator, John C. Gilbert, has been appointed to the position of village manager as well as emergency manager for the village.
On February 11, 2012, Chief Gilbert retired from the fire service, 40 years to the day after he started his fire service career with the Miami (FL) Fire Department in 1972. On February 12, 2012, Gilbert took over the reins as village manager.
In 1993, Chief Gilbert had the opportunity to start a brand new fire rescue department in the newly incorporated village of Key Biscayne. He started the fire department as the deputy fire chief and within four years was appointed to the position of fire chief. Under his vision in the summer of 1998, the Key Biscayne Fire Rescue Department was the first fire department in the state of Florida, and the tenth in the world, to become an "Accredited Agency" with the Commission for Fire Accreditation International (CFAI). The Department is currently working on its fourth accredited agency process.
As a task force leader with the Federal Emergency Management Agency Florida Task Force 2, he led a number of missions including a response to the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center incident. In addition to a number of missions with urban search and rescue (USAR) programs, he provided opportunities for Key Biscayne personnel to participate in USAR and state emergency response teams. Chief Gilbert instilled professionalism, performance, and a high expectation of customer service at every level within the fire service.
The opportunity to serve as village manager will continue his long standing commitment to public service. His leadership and guidance will now have a greater impact on vllage residents, visitors, and the community.