Monroe County, FL –  Monroe County welcomes James “Jim” Callahan as Monroe County Fire Chief. He will lead the organization and help recruit for the fire chief position. Chief Steve Hudson retired in December 2022.

“We are grateful for Chief Hudson’s hard work and dedication over the last 10 years in Monroe County and 39 years in career fire service,” said Monroe County Administrator Roman Gastesi.

Callahan retired from Monroe County Fire Rescue in May 2021 after 15 years with Monroe County and 51 years in career fire service. While at the County, he made significant contributions to the Florida Keys community, including adding adequate fire hydrants and other water resources, increasing career service firefighters, advancing emergency communications, and upgrading equipment and fire apparatus.

He coordinated with the County’s project management team to rebuild the fire stations in Conch Key, Stock Island, Big Pine Key, and Cudjoe Key and renovated Tavernier, Layton, and Sugarloaf. He created the “Hot Shots Program” and advocated for building the fire training facility on Grassy Key. His changes allowed the fire department to receive an improved ISO rating of 3/3X from a 5/9 rating, which helped to lower property insurance rates countywide. Callahan also consolidated airport fire services, giving airport firefighters access to state-mandated training, and he established a Fire Prevention Division to handle building plan reviews, construction inspections, commercial fire inspections, and public education.

“Chief Callahan’s knowledge and experience in fire department administration and operations have advanced Monroe County Fire Rescue from a small combination department into the professional fire service organization it is today,” said Monroe County Administrator Roman Gastesi. “We welcome his institutional knowledge and leadership again as we prepare for the organization’s future.”

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