Assistant Fire Chief Takes Emergency Post

Published: Aug 19, 2003

Assistant Fire Chief Jim Johnston is leaving after 20 years with the city department. Johnston said Monday he will replace Chuck Tear as Pasco County's emergency management coordinator. He'll work under Pasco County Director of Emergency Management Michele Baker.

Tear left in July to work in disaster preparedness with Citrus County.

Johnston leaves a $49,000 job with the city for a $45,000 job with the county but said he's looking for an opportunity to try something new.

Johnston worked with the Hazardous Incidents Response Team of emergency responders from the county and Pasco's cities. That's a main reason he got the new job, said Zephyrhills Fire Chief Robert Hartwig.

Johnston worked his way through the ranks at the city fire department.

``This is just an opportunity that presented itself and an opportunity to grow a little bit,'' he said.

He starts his new job Sept. 2. His position in Zephyrhills will be filled in a month or two with one of the department's four captains, Hartwig said.

Juliet Greer <