November 12, 2019
Chief Keith Powers, Director/Fire Chief.
Photo of JFRD Director Fire Chief Keith Powers

Keith Powers leads the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, an organization with more than 1,500 uniformed personnel, 61 fire and rescue stations and a budget of approximately $303 million. His tenure with JFRD exceeds two decades and includes more than six years of administrative experience, serving as the Division Chief of Operations, the Captain of JFRD's Tactical Support Facility, and most recently as Interim Director/Fire Chief. Mayor Lenny Curry appointed Powers as the permanent Director/Fire Chief in November 2019, and City Council unanimously confirmed Powers' appointment on January 14, 2020.

Powers' fire service career began with the Nassau County Fire Rescue department in 1994. Two years later, the Jacksonville native realized his dream and became a member of JFRD. His first assignment was Fire Station 17, located in Woodstock Park off Beaver Street.

Between 1999 and 2006, Powers was promoted through the ranks of engineer, lieutenant and captain, while being assigned to various stations located on the city’s Westside. Powers was deployed across the state on several large wildland fires during the 1998 fire season and deployed with the Urban Search and Rescue Team during Hurricane Katrina. During his time in the field, Powers received five departmental awards for his actions on calls.

Powers joined JFRD's administrative team in 2013 when he was chosen to manage JFRD’s Tactical Support Facility. In that role he was responsible for the maintenance and repairs of the 550 vehicles assigned to the fire department. Those vehicles include pumpers, ladders, tankers, rescues, marine units, and light cars and trucks. In February 2015, he was assigned the additional duties of overseeing construction projects and the maintenance of JFRD’s then-58 fire stations.

Battalion Chief Steve Riska is serving as the interim Division Chief of Fire Operations for JFRD. It is the department’s largest division with more than 900 fire suppression personnel. It also includes oversight of JFRD's Administrative Services Division.