St. Johns County Fire Rescue Chief resigns after 5 months on the job

St. Johns County Fire Rescue Department Fire Chief Scott Bullard has resigned after just five months on the job, the county announced on Monday.

Bullard was named Fire Chief in May 2023 to replace Chief Jeffrey Prevatt, who retired in December 2022.

Bullard is a 21-year Fire Rescue veteran who has served as a firefighter, engineer, lieutenant, captain and battalion chief. He was the 2013 Fire Rescue Paramedic of the Year and developed several department initiatives, such as the Firefighter Development Program.

It wasn’t immediately clear why Bullard resigned.

Battalion Chief Sean McGee will now serve as acting Fire Chief.

“County Administration believes the leadership assigned in the temporary restructuring will continue to move St. Johns Fire Rescue forward and operate from a mindset of supporting the operations side of the department and the professional individuals that serve in it,” McGee said.

McGee has been with St. Johns County Fire Rescue for 25 years, starting as a firefighter, and was promoted to various ranks in the department. He has served as Battalion Chief for the past 11 years.

“The County thanks Scott for his service to the community during the past 21 years in his various roles in the Fire Rescue Department,” Interim County Administrator Joy Andrews said. “As part of the County’s ongoing efforts to reshape our organization’s culture that values respect, open communication, and staying true to our commitment to promote unity and trust, we embark on a national search for a Fire Rescue leader who will play a pivotal role in embracing the principles of servant leadership. Our new fire chief will prioritize the needs of our team members, empowering them to achieve their best and ensuring their voices are heard. The issue of public safety and our commitment in terms of resources, staffing, and employee safety will remain our priority.”

The County will work with a professional executive search firm and a hiring committee that will include County Administration as well as representatives from the St. Johns County Professional Firefighters and Paramedics Association.

“We support this search effort and feel that it will facilitate the values we embrace, which is pride in protecting property, lives, and the St. Johns County community,” President of the St. Johns County Professional Firefighters and Paramedics Association David Stevens said. “We are excited and grateful to be a part of the process to select the next Fire Chief.”

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