Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Sarasota County fire chief accepts conditional offer to come to Longboat

Town manager tells commissioners Michael Regnier would serve as assistant chief.

  • By
  • | 8:44 a.m. December 3, 2021
  • Longboat Key
  • News
  • Share

Michael Regnier, the chief of the Sarasota County Fire Department, has accepted a conditional offer to join the Longboat Key Fire Rescue Department, Town Manager Tom Harmer announced to town commissioners Thursday night.

“The opportunity will allow me to spend more time with my family while continuing to serve the community,” Regnier said in a statement. “I am grateful for the support of the Board of Sarasota County Commissioners, Sarasota County administration, Emergency Services and the fire department during my time with SCFD.

“I’m proud of all we have accomplished together and am grateful to have served alongside the department’s incredible group of firefighter-paramedics who serve our community daily.”

Harmer said the plan is for Regnier to begin working for the town on Dec. 28 with a starting annual salary of $95,000.

“I had the pleasure of serving as the Sarasota County Administrator when Mike was appointed Chief in 2015,” Town Manager Tom Harmer wrote in an email to commissioners. “He has an extensive amount of experience in all aspects of the fire service and will add great value to Chief (Paul) Dezzi’s command staff.”

Regnier would fill the vacancy left by Longboat Key Assistant Fire Chief Bryan Carr, who recently accepted a deputy chief position in Charlotte County.

“I think his extensive experience covers all aspects of the department,” Harmer said of Regnier. “He has an extensive amount of time in operations, which is kind of a specific role that he will play here.

“But he’s also been very active in managing responses to major emergencies, including hurricanes.”

The town has a deputy chief and two assistant chiefs. During one of three shifts, they manage day-to-day operations of all fire and emergency medical services. Assistant chiefs report directly to the fire chief.

Longboat Key Fire Chief Paul Dezzi explained what separated Regnier from the other three candidates the town interviewed.

“I think his knowledge and his local workings with (Sarasota County) Emergency Operations during hurricanes and stuff like that, working with dispatch services, we both understand the system, how it works,” Dezzi said.

In May 2015, Regnier accepted the offer to go from interim Sarasota County fire chief to the permanent position. He was responsible for overseeing more than 520 firefighters, emergency management technicians and paramedics during his tenure.

Regnier spent more than 33 years with the Sarasota County Fire Department.

“He has a lot of respect and relationships within Sarasota County Government in general, so one of our mutual aid partners,” Harmer said. “He knows the other chiefs in the area, and so I just think he’ll add a lot of value to the team here.”

Dezzi was clear when the Longboat Observer asked if had plans to retire with the news of Regnier’s hire.

“I have no intentions of retirement,” Dezzi said. “This position was something that Chief Regnier has shared with me, he was interested in. We never really had this position open to the outside in the past.”

Dezzi said Regnier is going to be responsible for marine operations, training, for the new computer-aided dispatch system.

“When he comes on, he and I will meet,” Dezzi said. “We’ll discuss some of the projects we’re working on.”

Sarasota County  Emergency Services Director Rich Collins expressed his appreciation for Regnier.

“Sarasota County thanks Chief Regnier and his family for the dedicated service they have provided to the community over the last 33 years and looks forward to working with him in his new capacity,”  Collins said in a statement.

Support Services Director Carolyn Brown came to the town in 2018 from a supervisory role with Sarasota County's Department of Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources; Public Works Director Isaac Brownman came to the town in 2017 following a similar role with the county. Director of Planning, Building and Zoning Allen Parsons also came from Sarasota County, as did planner Tate Taylor. 

“It’s also a huge opportunity to be able to recruit someone of this caliber and experience into a smaller department here,” Harmer said of Regnier. “We’re very fortunate to be able to do that.”



Latest News