Jacksonville is well known for taking bold steps. That also rings true for the Jacksonville Fire & Rescue Department (JFRD).
Fifty years ago, City leaders were facing a crisis. Response times for medical emergencies were too long. Responders were ill-trained and couldn't treat patients at the scene.
In response to this crisis, the City Council and Mayor Hans Tanzler enacted legislation turning over emergency ambulance services to the Jacksonville Fire Department. Two days later, the rescue division responded to its first call.
What followed was a revolution in emergency medicine, and JFRD was at the forefront. People came from throughout the nation – and the world – to see how Jacksonville was getting it done.
There was even a 1972 documentary made about this success.
This year, the City of Jacksonville celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Rescue Division, and honors the innovative spirit of our department.
As mayor, I am inspired by the dedication, passion and leadership displayed by the men and women of JFRD. I commit to continuing my strong support for their mission to protect the lives of Jacksonville citizens.