Board celebrates retiring Hillsborough County Fire Chief's legacy of dedication and service

During its Dec. 20 meeting, the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners presented a commendation to Hillsborough County Fire Rescue Chief Dennis Jones, who is retiring. The sixth chief in the 50-year history of Hillsborough Fire Rescue, Jones was accompanied by members of his family, Fire Rescue's senior staff, and other special guests.

Dedicating half his life to protecting residents of Hillsborough County, Jones is widely respected for his integrity, fortitude, and compassion. After serving more than three decades with Tampa Fire Rescue, including five years as fire chief, he came out of retirement in 2015 to lead Hillsborough County Fire Rescue. Under his leadership, Jones made tremendous strides in enhancing the department's services and quality of life of the first responders and staff under his charge. He oversaw the addition of three new fire stations, numerous rebuilt facilities, 12 Advanced Life Support ambulances, and the opening of the Public Safety Operations Complex.

Jones is a founding member of Florida Task Force 3, an urban search-and-rescue team of highly skilled firefighters from Hillsborough County, Tampa, and St. Petersburg that has deployed statewide and nationally. For these accomplishments and numerous others, the Florida Fire Chiefs' Association named Jones the Florida Career Fire Chief of the Year in 2023.

Jones, who was visibly moved by the honor, received numerous accolades from County officials. "It's been such an honor to serve here. I am totally blessed," Jones said, explaining he didn't originally plan to make the fire service his career.

He added: "When your passion meets the opportunity, that's when everything works out. My plan was to serve others. And that means all people."

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Photo Information: Retiring Hillsborough County Fire Chief Dennis Jones, in dark uniform, was honored by the Board of County Commissioners, his colleagues, and special guests during the Dec. 20, 2023, BOCC meeting.
Posted: 1/8/2024, 4:59:24 PM