|Name||W. Craig Fugate Jr.|
Gainesville, Florida , United States
|| May 14, 1959
|Last Modifed||Juan Croniqueur|
Nov 21, 2022 05:46pm
|Info||William Craig Fugate Jr. |
As the Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, Mr. Fugate oversees an agency with 138 full time staff. The Division coordinates disaster response, recovery, preparedness and mitigation efforts with each of the state's 67 counties and local governments. In September 2003, the Florida Emergency Management Program became the first state emergency management program in the nation to receive full accreditation from the Emergency Management Accreditation Program.
From volunteer firefighter, Paramedic, to Lieutenant with Alachua County Fire Rescue, his 15 year career in local government included serving 10 years as the Emergency Manager for Alachua County, Florida.
In May of 1997, he was appointed Chief of the Bureau of Preparedness and Response with the Florida Division of Emergency Management. Over the next four years, the State of Florida faced numerous disasters while continuing to build a nationally recognized emergency management program.
In October of 2001, Mr. Fugate was appointed by Governor Bush as Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. With the events of September 11, 2001, the Division was tasked with the role of managing the Federal Homeland Security funding and developing Florida’s Domestic Security Strategy with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Florida’s program is recognized as a model for other states.
In December 2006, Governor Crist reappointed Fugate as Director, the role he continues today.
Director Fugate has served as the State Coordinating Officer in 23 Declared State Emergencies, 11 of which were Presidential Declared Disasters totaling over 4.5 billion in federal assistance.
• Born at the Jacksonville Naval Air Station, the son of a career Navy veteran. His mother died when he was 11; his father when he was 16.
• Became a volunteer firefighter in high school, like his father and his uncle. Later attended Florida State Fire College.
• After working as a paramedic and a fire department lieutenant, Fugate went on to serve 10 years as Alachua County's emergency management chief, a position that reportedly came with a basement office that was so tiny Fugate had to dodge the door when unexpected visitors dropped by or risk getting hit in the head.
• Liked to surprise the 130 state employees he oversaw with "thunderbolt" exercises by walking into their offices and saying, "Okay — there's a fire in the building and you have to evacuate. What do you do?"
• A self-described Democrat, he was tapped by Republican Governor Jeb Bush in 2001 to head Florida's Division of Emergency Management. He was kept in the powerful state post by Florida's next Governor, Republican Charlie Crist.
• Turned down George W. Bush's nomination to replace Michael Brown, who resigned in September 2005 amid a public outcry over his handling of Hurricane Katrina relief. Fugate has said he declined the job because "the timing wasn't right."