CLEARWATER — Scott Ehlers, a veteran of nearly three decades with Tampa Fire Rescue, began his new position with the city last week. He's the division chief for emergency management and will work out of the main fire station downtown on Franklin Street until the new fire station is completed this summer.
Ehlers takes over a position that had been vacant since the death of Rick Carnley in July of last year. Earl Gloster, the city's director of solid waste and general planning, had been filling that role on a temporary basis.
The 52-year-old is responsible for planning and leading the city's response to tropical storms, hurricanes and any other disaster situations.
"Chief Ehlers brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the position of emergency manager," said Robert Weiss, fire chief for Clearwater Fire & Rescue. "He will enhance the city's capabilities greatly."
Ehlers, a native of upstate New York, retired in January from Tampa Fire Rescue as the assistant chief in charge of operations. He had been there more than 29 years.
A graduate of the University of South Florida, he also worked as a firefighter at MacDill Air Force Base with the U.S. Air Force. In addition, he was a flight paramedic for 12 years for Tampa General Hospital.
Now, he's excited to bring his talents to Clearwater.
"It's fantastic," Ehlers said. "What a great city to be working for, what a great group of employees to be working with and what a great citizenry to serve."