Sarasota County’s next Emergency Service director is scheduled to begin Aug. 4, and brings with him 25 years of public-safety experience

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July 18, 2014

Next Emergency Services director announced, scheduled to start with county in early August

SARASOTA COUNTY – Sarasota County’s next Emergency Service director is scheduled to begin Aug. 4, and brings with him 25 years of public-safety experience.

Tom Harmer, Sarasota County administrator, announced today, July 18, that Rich Collins, the current Emergency Management director for Osceola, Fla., will fill the county’s vacancy created by the retirement of Chief Mike Tobias.

Collins was named the next director of Emergency Services after the county concluded a thorough search. Tobias, the former Emergency Services director, assisted Sarasota County during the interview and selection process.

“We are pleased to welcome Rich and his family to Sarasota County,” said Harmer. “We’re confident that Rich will do a great job leading our Emergency Services team here.”

Collins, originally from the Chicago area, is no stranger to Sarasota County.

“My family’s love of Florida has always been with the southwest area, and Sarasota County is exactly where we want to be,” said Collins.

In his current role with Osceola County, Collins is responsible for the planning, preparedness, recovery, and mitigation to and from disasters. He’s also responsible for the county’s intergovernmental communications.

When Collins, a former fire chief, starts work with Sarasota County, he will be responsible for and oversee the Sarasota County Fire Department, Emergency Management, Emergency Medical Services and Lifeguard Operation.

“I look forward to this incredible opportunity and am honored to lead the public safety team in service to the residents and visitors of Sarasota County,” said Collins, who holds degrees in Organizational Management and Leadership.

Collins and his wife, Kathie, have been married for 26 years and have three children.

For more information, call the Sarasota County Contact Center at 941-861-5000 or visit www.scgov.net.

Sarasota County prohibits discrimination in all services, programs or activities.
View the complete policy at www.scgov.net/ADA/Pages/default.aspx.

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