The Apopka City Council voted 5-0 last night to approve Chuck Carnesale as Apopka's new fire chief. He takes over a department of more than 80 firefighters.
"He started as an Explorer at age 13, graduated high school, Fire Academy and EMT school simultaneously in 1989, and was a dispatcher at age 17," said Mayor Joe Kilsheimer. " he has filled almost every position at The Apopka Fire department."
"I hate to mention I've been on this journey for 33 years when my mother dropped me off to look at fire trucks," said Carnesale. "Thank you. I won't let you down. I won't let the public down. I won't let the firefighters down."
Carnesale has served as assistant fire chief since 2013, heading up the fire department’s emergency medical and ambulance services. He is certified as a firefighter, EMT/paramedic, fire officer, fire inspector and instructor in various fields. In 1990, Carnesale was hired as a full-time firefighter/EMT. In 2000 he was recognized by then Gov. Jeb Bush as Apopka’s Firefighter of the Year.
He was promoted to engineer in 2001, lieutenant in 2005, captain and EMS coordinator in 2006 and assistant fire chief in 2013. Carnesale attended Seminole State and Valencia colleges, Florida State Fire College and the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, MD.
He has served on several medical boards, and this year Orange County Medical Director Dr. George Ralls appointed him to the Orange County EMS Advisory Council.
The City Council was pleased with Kilsheimer's choice.
"Chuck is an amazing person," said Commissioner Kyle Becker. I know he is going to do a fantastic job. I couldn't be more happy for you (Carnesale)."
"I'm glad we brought someone in from our own fire department," said Commissioner Billie Dean. "We have the best fire department in America. We should hire from within. I commend you (Kilsheimer) on the choice."
Carnesale replaces former Fire Chief Lee Bronson.
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