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Tim Devin takes over as Director of Emergency Management

Orange Park High graduate returns to county where his career started

For Clay Today
Posted 4/11/24

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Tim Devin was selected as the Emergency Management Director on Wednesday, April 3, replacing Mike Ladd, who retired to spend more time with his family. Devin started with …

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Tim Devin takes over as Director of Emergency Management

Orange Park High graduate returns to county where his career started


Posted


GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Tim Devin was selected as the Emergency Management Director on Wednesday, April 3, replacing Mike Ladd, who retired to spend more time with his family.


Devin started with Emergency Management in November as the Director of Plans. Before that, he worked with Clay County Fire Rescue when the firefighters were volunteers in 1985.


“After my time in Clay, I started with Jacksonville Fire Rescue, and that’s when I really fell in love with Emergency Management,” Devin said, “One of my first deployments was for Hurricane Andrew in 1992. That was the start of my experience in working large-scale disasters.”


Devin was also the captain of the EMS training for Jacksonville Fire Rescue.


After that, his career spanned many Emergency Management and Public Safety roles, affording him countless certifications, training and experiences that led to a seamless transition into his new title.


He said most natural and manmade emergencies haven’t changed, but how agencies adapt to different responses is constantly being evaluated. As wetlands and forests become housing and commercial projects, they erase buffers that protect people and property from the elements. And it means there are fewer areas for water retention.


“The challenge is to keep everyone notified,” Devin said. “We must stay on top of our social media platforms and website. It’s important to stay ahead of everything and stay prepared.”


Although Clay County isn’t a coastal county, Devin said it must be ready to assist any of the seven hospitals and other residents from Duval or St. Johns counties if required to evacuate patients ahead of a major storm.


“I’ve traveled to disasters across the state, working with local, regional and state incident management teams,” Devin said. “I’m proud to bring that experience back to Clay County.”


After retiring from JFRD, Devin started doing emergency management consulting for large local healthcare facilities, including being hired as the Emergency Management Coordinator at HCA Florida Orange Park Hospital in 2017.


“Seeing the government and private sector sides made me more rounded,” he said.


He continues to be a member of multiple local and state committees and organizations dedicated to health, public safety and emergency management.


Devin is a 1988 graduate of Orange Park High. After starting his firefighting and emergency management career in Clay County, he’s now been full circle in his career to be back in the county.


The heart to serve in Clay County is shared by Devin’s family. His brother works with Clay County Fire Rescue; his son recently started with the same agency; and, his daughter is a cadet.


“It’s nice to be able to pass the experience I’ve gained to the next generation, to carry on that tradition,” Devin said, “I love what I do, and I’m proud to be doing it with my family.”


Ladd wanted to spend more time with his young family.


“I cannot express my thanks adequately for the support and sense of team during my tenure. TEAM CLAY and CLAY EM are comprised of exceptional people who routinely make outcomes better,” Ladd said, “It was my honor to work with them all.


“I cannot think of anyone better suited to take the division forward. Tim is thorough in his approach, does his homework, and remains the steady rock in a scene of chaos”


Devin said he is looking forward to continuing those relationships built throughout the years with the county’s law enforcement, health officials and public safety, with one goal in mind – keeping Clay County prepared and safe when our residents need it most.


“Clay County has a great foundation,” he said, “I’ve worked around its members for 20-plus years. It’s expounding that foundation, continuing our partnerships, the sheriff’s office, the fire department, and the department of health.”


“The county is growing. We have an interstate that’s coming through, a bypass. It will bring tremendous growth for Clay County, so Emergency Management now has to take that extra step to ensure that we’re also ready for that growth,” Devin said. “The better we do here and the partnerships we have here, the better it is for the citizens.”


County Manager Howard Wanamaker, Fire Chief Lorin Mock and Acting Fire Chief David Motes thanked Ladd for his dedication to the division and the county during emergencies and storms when strong leadership and public safety are paramount.


Staff reporter Don Coble contributed to this report.