Glenn Joseph started his career with Boca Raton Fire Rescue in 1987 as the first black firefighter in the organization. Over the years, he’s climbed the ranks — his latest position being deputy fire chief.
Joseph will begin as Boynton’s fire chief May 2. He will be paid $135,000 per year, said City Spokeswoman Eleanor Krusell.
“I’m looking forward to becoming part of the organization, a part of the family,” Joseph told The Palm Beach Post. “I’m excited to be here. I think it’s a great place to start a different aspect of my career.”
Joseph, 52, was born in St. Lucia and came to Belle Glade at age 13. Before working in Boca, he worked for JFK Ambulance, a subsidiary of JFK Hospital and then for a short time Lantana Fire Rescue. He was an adjunct instructor at South Technical Education Center in Boynton from 1988 to 1996. He lives in Delray Beach.
Several people told Joseph about the Boynton position, including Carter. Carter, who retired in January, encouraged him to apply for the job, and the two talked about the environment of the department.
“I mean money’s fairly straight forward to make. If you work in an organization that’s progressive, forward thinking, that has the right leadership, you tend to become more excited about that than just getting a paycheck,” Joseph said.
Joseph will be responsible for 129 firefighters — 122 who are active paramedics. He said he hasn’t been given any mandates and was told City Manager Lori LaVerriere was pleased with Carter. Joseph said he plans to look at how things are run in the department, and then add his experience and knowledge.
One topic that will be on his radar is the growth in the city. Carter told The Post in January he thought the city’s population will increase by 10,000 more residents in about 10 years. That means another station or additional units at the existing five stations will be needed, he said.
Joseph said Boca is dealing with some of the same issues in the downtown area.
“They’re looking a the same traffic issues. It’s an evolving problem that all the coastal communities are going to have to deal with sooner or later,” Joseph said. “But we have a new commission and an outstanding city manager and they’ll come up with a plan, I’ll implement the plan and we’ll keep everybody safe.”
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