Chris Krajic was responsible for the town's EMS systems and purchasing Longboat Key's new fire truck.
Longboat Key Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Chris Krajic played an instrumental role in purchasing the town’s new $850,000 fire truck.
Completing the fire truck project was one of Krajic’s final responsibilities with the town. He is due to retire on Wednesday, Jan. 13 having spent nearly six years with Longboat Key Fire Rescue.
“I thought the truck came out pretty nice,” Krajic said during the Jan. 4 fire truck dedication ceremony. “Many thanks to South Florida Emergency Vehicles for working with us. They knew our budget constraints, and I know they bent over backwards to make this truck exactly what we wanted it to be.”
Fire Chief Paul Dezzi thanked Krajic for heading up the town’s purchasing committee for the new truck. It was about a yearlong process to replace the town’s 2003 model fire truck.
“Working with [manufacturer Sutphen Corp.], and getting this truck to where it is today is a task in itself,” Dezzi said.
Krajic was most recently in charge of emergency medical services during his tenure in Longboat Key. He said he was most proud of his handling of EMS response, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in March 2020.
“I’ve been able to streamline the EMS process as far as keeping us abreast of all the latest technology,” Krajic said.
Krajic said the technology quickly changed and developed during his career.
“Look back and say, ‘You need to be very, very, very flexible because things change sometimes almost daily, and you have to be able to adapt to those changes,’” Krajic said. “That’s probably something that I could have been better at early on.”
Krajic was responsible for making sure the department was fiscally responsible and had the necessary equipment, which includes personal protective equipment needed in dealing with COVID-19 responses.
Krajic was also the department's 2018 officer of the year.
While Krajic has retired before, he said he’ll miss the people in Longboat Key the most.
“Obviously, the people here are pretty cool to work with,” Krajic said. “I’ve enjoyed, especially the administrative staff, and everybody on 1 shift has been fun to work with, so I’ll miss that.”
Before coming to Longboat Key, Krajic worked as a first responder for 20 years with the city of North Port, for five years with Estero Fire Rescue and for five years in Charleston, SC.
“I look forward to more stuff than I’m going to miss, at least I hope I am,” Krajic said. “Getting out and traveling a little bit, and not having to get up at 5:30 a.m. every morning to come to work.”
Longboat Key Fire Rescue spokesperson Tina Adams said the town has hired John Curran as assistant chief to fill the vacancy left by Krajic. During the last week of December, Curran began his training with the town.