By John B. Molenda, Assistant Fire Chief
On August 3, 2010 Jeffrey A. Justinak, a 22-year Fort Lauderdale Fire-Rescue fire veteran, was appointed as the new Fire Chief of Fort Lauderdale (FL) Fire-Rescue (FLFR). He will oversee a staff of 460 personnel total, with 383 sworn firefighters and an Ocean Rescue division that includes 37 full time employees. Chief Justinak succeeds now deceased Fire Chief James R. Eddy, who served the fire department from January 2007 thru October 2009.
Chief Justinak has a long and outstanding history with Fort Lauderdale Fire-Rescue beginning in 1988. He has provided outstanding leadership throughout the years and especially over the past year as Acting Fire Chief after Chief Eddy’s retirement in 2009. He takes the reins during a challenging budget time but we are confident that under his strong leadership ability Fort Lauderdale Fire-Rescue will continue to develop innovative approaches to meet the growing and changing needs of the high level of service expected by Fort Lauderdale’s residents.
During his tenure with FLFR, Chief Justinak has managed many of the Department’s critical divisions and bureaus including the Fire Prevention Bureau, Support Services, Internal Affairs, Human Resources, Communications, Training, Financial Management and Information Technology. As Assistant Chief of Administration, he was responsible for the development and effective execution of administrative policies and procedures for all assigned functions of the department, and assisted in such areas as personnel, employee relations, hiring, staffing record-keeping, fiscal control, research and development and training. Most recently, Justinak was an integral part of FLFR’s administration during a period of tremendous growth including the construction of many new fire stations and the new state-of-the-art headquarters in Downtown Fort Lauderdale.