Amid a great deal of emotion, Fire Chief Richard Talbert yesterday informed his boss, Titusville's Interim City Manager Mark Ryan, and the staff of Titusville Fire and Emergency Services of his resignation as Titusville's fire chief, effective April 25. Chief Talbert has accepted the position of fire chief and administrator of the South Walton Fire District in Florida's panhandle area.
Stated Chief Talbert, "I wasn't looking for a new position, but when I was approached about whether I would be willing to consider their opening, I was intrigued. The more information I was given, the more certain I was that becoming the chief of their fire district would afford me even more professional challenges and enhancement opportunities.
South Walton Beach Fire Commissioner Jack Abbit and a member of the search committee, reporting to the local newspaper The Walton Sun, "He was a completely different caliber than any other candidate. He wanted to be challenged." Another search committee member, Vice-President of Human Resources for the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, Sylvia Hanks, said Talbert would also challenge the status quo and bring a new dynamic to the district.
Chief Talbert noted, however, "Leaving was not an easy decision for me to make. Titusville is a great place to live and the men and women of Titusville Fire and Emergency Services are wonderfully dedicated and talented employees, fully committed to the on-going safety and welfare of our community members. I couldn't have asked for a better group of peers and co-workers with which to work every day. I can leave knowing, though, that our city and the Titusville Fire and Emergency Services Department will continue to be in very capable hands.”