County hires new assistant fire chief

William Burns expected to begin work in early May

William Burns. Image from LinkedIn
William Burns. Image from LinkedIn

William Burns has accepted a conditional offer to become the new assistant chief of operations for the Sarasota County Fire Department, the department announced on April 18.

Burns has spent 25 years working in the emergency services field, a news release says. Most recently, he has served as assistant chief of operations and assistant chief of strategic programs in Brevard County.

He is scheduled to start work in Sarasota County on May 2.

Burns holds degrees in fire science and public administration and has earned professional recognition as a chief fire officer (CFO) from the Center for Public Safety Excellence and as a member of the Institution of Fire Engineers, the news release continues. Burns has extensive experience “in comprehensive, all-risk fire and emergency services delivery”; strategic and operational planning; organizational change and development; budget management; and intergovernmental collaboration, the release points out.

“We are excited to have a professional with such an extensive background in public service taking on this role,” said Sarasota County Fire Chief Michael Regnier in the release. “We are confident Bill will be an asset to our organization and to the people we serve.”

Sarasota County is in the midst of replacing four of its fire stations. Station No. 16 — located at 5875 Hummingbird Ave. — and station No. 17 — which stands at 5501 DeSoto Road — both opened in recent months to better serve growth in the eastern portion of the county, the release notes. Additionally, grand openings are planned in the coming months for station No. 12, located at 3110 Bee Ridge Road, and station No. 14, which is at 8821 S. Tamiami Trail, the release says.