PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — Interim Fire Chief Ray Morgan has been tapped to lead the 75-member Panama City Beach Fire and Rescue Department as the new fire chief.
City Manager Tony O’Rourke said city officials interviewed three strong candidates, with Morgan proving to be the most well-rounded and the best fit for the City’s needs and expectations.
“The city was searching for a proven leader,” said O’Rourke. “We wanted a strong communicator, a strategic thinker, values-driven, customer-focused, empowering to the staff, innovative and results oriented. We found all those things in Ray Morgan. He clearly has the experience, leadership and vision we were seeking.”
Morgan is the eleventh Fire Chief to serve in the Department’s 50-year history. He has worked for the Panama City Beach Fire Department for 18 years, the past two as deputy chief.
“I am grateful to have this opportunity to be considered for the position of Fire Chief and I am humbled to be offered the position,” Morgan said. “I look forward to serving the men and women of our department and our community.”
Morgan completed the Firefighter Standards Program and attended Henderson State College and Gulf Coast State College. He has numerous hours of continuing education and specialized training, including Fire Officer I and II certifications.
A native of Arkansas, Morgan and his wife have two children.
The City received 43 applicants for the position. The two other finalists were Michael Hadden, Division Chief, Tallahassee Fire Department, and Michael Cassano, Deputy Fire Chief of Operations, Pasco County Fire Rescue.