Public Safety

Highlands County Fire Rescue Announces Appointments and Promotions

Detail :
Sebring, FL. Highlands County Fire Rescue is pleased to announce the appointment and promotion of a significant portion of the new management staff.
Effective January 2, 2019, Daniel Spillman will join us in the position of Deputy Fire Chief of Operations.  Chief Spillman retired as a Chief officer with the Tallahassee Fire Department, and served as the Fire Chief for Escambia County, as well as serving in the Florida State Fire Marshals Office and in multiple other Chief officer and related positions across the state of Florida.  Chief Spillman comes to Highlands County with over 35 years of fire service experience and is excited to join our growing fire service family.
Effective January 7, 2019, current Highlands County Fire Rescue employees Luke Andrews and William (Billy) Kingston are both being promoted to shift Battalion Chief.  Luke has served Highlands County for the past 30 years, having served the past 11 years as a firefighter and inspector in the Highlands County Office of the Fire Marshal, and most recently acting as the Deputy Chief of Operations.  Luke joined the fire service as a volunteer and served through every rank up to Volunteer Chief at the Sun n Lakes of Lake Placid Volunteer Fire Department.   Billy Kingston has served as a volunteer with the West Sebring Volunteer Fire Department for the past 20 years, serving in all ranks up to Volunteer Assistant Chief.  He was hired as one of the 40-hour Highlands County firefighters earlier this year.  The third shift Battalion Chief appointment will be Zack Smith.  Zack joins Highlands County from the Okeechobee County Fire Rescue, where he currently serves as a Paramedic Lieutenant.  Zack first served Okeechobee City Fire as a volunteer, and has served both the City and the County for just shy of 20 years.
Effective January 7, 2019, current OPS firefighter Larry Money will be promoted to shift Lieutenant.  Larry started his career as a volunteer firefighter, and later retired from the City of Hialeah Fire Department, after 23 years.  He also spent 4 years with the Ocean Reef Public Safety Department Logistics Division.  Larry brings 28 years of both paid and volunteer experience to Highlands County.  
Also January 7, 2019 Jose Ibanez will join the Highlands County paid service as a shift Lieutenant. Jose is currently a volunteer officer with the Lake Placid Volunteer Fire Department and a career firefighter in Hardee County.  
Effective January 9, 2019, Todd Barton will also join Highlands County as a shift Lieutenant.  Todd is currently a Hardee County Firefighter and previously served Highlands County as an OPS Paramedic.
The 24-hour shift Firefighter assignments will soon be announced.  Effective on or about January 21, 2019, this cadre of new Lieutenants and Firefighters, along with existing volunteer members, will respond out of the Sun n Lakes of Lake Placid station 41, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
We will also soon be hiring a few EMT’s and Paramedics, as we are working through the credentialing process with those with firefighter certifications.
Please join us in welcoming these employees to their new positions and challenges.  The Highlands County Fire Rescue continues to build a robust team of officers and firefighters who, along with the Highlands County volunteer firefighters, will help put us on a path towards sustainable service enhancements and improvements.