Sarasota County commissioners during a meeting Wednesday, each thanked Fire Chief Mike Tobias for 35 years of service before his retirement this year, and County Administrator Tom Harmer awarded him with a golden bugle.
"There are certain positions I think in a professional career that when your earn the title, you carry for life," said Harmer, who served as fire chief in Titusville. “Once a fire chief — always a fire chief.”
Tobias took on his role as fire chief in 2011, after serving with the Sarasota County Fire Department since 1979. He implemented “P.R.I.D.E,” a motto for the fire department that stands for professionalism, respect, integrity, dedication and excellence.
“I’ve learned a lot from you quite honestly chief,” said Commissioner Christine Robinson.
“Obviously (Tobias) will be very hard to replace,” Harmer said, and he has met with more than 200 members of staff to gather information that will help with the search for a new fire chief.
“It’s been a true pleasure and a privilege to serve Sarasota County,” Tobias said.