ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - The Alachua County Department of Public Safety and Gainesville Fire Rescue are pleased to announce the selection of Carol Davis for the joint Public Information Officer position. This unique joint position was created as a result of recommendations by the Alachua County Fire and Emergency Medical Service Master Plan (2004). The Master Plan, which was adopted by the Board of Alachua County Commissioners, provides recommendations to the County Commission for the future delivery of Fire and Emergency Medical Services. One of the recommendations called for the "functional consolidation" of some support service functions within both Departments. This recommendation became possible when both Departments' Public Information Officer positions were vacant simultaneously. Department leadership began discussing the potential for sharing a Public Information Officer. The concept was developed over time, and with the hiring of Davis, has now been realized.
Davis had been employed by the City of Gainesville since 1997. During her tenure with the City she served in many capacities. She started her career as a dispatcher with the City, transitioned to police officer, and was subsequently promoted to Corporal. As a Corporal, she worked patrol operations, administrative assignments, and was recently the face and voice of GPD's Police Beat radio and Television programs, reaching thousands to pass along crime prevention tips and the latest in law enforcement concepts and strategies. Davis graduated from Gainesville High School and attended Santa Fe Community College and the University of Florida, majoring in criminal justice. She is currently pursuing her degree in public relations. Her familiarity with the Public Safety Sector will aid both Departments in keeping citizens informed and to highlight the activities and accomplishments of each agency.
As the Public Information Officer, Davis' duties will include:
- Coordination of the release of fire and life safety information to the public
- Response to, and onsite support of, emergency response activities (including fires, accidents with extrication and casualties, wildfire, and other emergencies) through the coordination of related information to the media and the public
- Provide internal communications within the Departments such as newsletters, special notices, and annual reports
- Provide everyday support for the Department WebPages
- Assist in planning for special events in both Departments (hiring, promotional, and retirement receptions; company and/or station opening ceremonies; special recognitions; etc.)
- During an Emergency Operations Center activation, she will assist Emergency Support Function #14 (public information) and work with the Alachua County Communications Coordinator.
Due to the uniqueness of this position, the Alachua County Department of Public Safety and Gainesville Fire Recue have developed an inter-local agreement for the sharing of a Public Information Officer.
The Agreement will soon be presented to the Board of County Commissioners and the City of Gainesville Commissioners for approval. This Inter-local Agreement stipulates that:
- Alachua County Department of Public Safety will employ a fulltime Public Information Officer
- The Public Information Officer will support both Departments emergency and non-emergency support needs
- The two Departments will share the operational costs of the Public Information Officer
This joint position between Alachua County and the City of Gainesville is an innovative and unique approach to consolidating functional positions during this time of fiscal awareness. With the anticipated success of this unique and new position, both Departments are continuing to explore the possibilities of combining additional joint support services.
For more information, please contact Carol Davis, Department of Public Safety Public Information Officer at 352-258-9966.