FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (WKRG) — Jeremy Morgan is not a new face to the Fort Walton Beach Fire Department, but said the chief job is one he never expected.

“I never saw myself in this seat,” said Morgan. “Even though I always kind of aspired to do it from the beginning. But it’s only because I’ve always wanted to make things better. I always believe that you should always try to leave something better than it was when you found it.”

Taking the role on Nov. 14, he replaces retired Chief Ken Perkins. Morgan said his mission is to enhance the department with more public outreach.

“To professionally serve the needs of our community with pride, dedication to excellence. Providing the highest quality education to men and women of the Fort Walton Beach fire department,” said Morgan. “Delivering fire suppression, emergency life, safety and building public relations within the community.”

Morgan was born in Fort Walton Beach and has served for the past 23 years in Crestview and most recently as FWBFD Deputy Fire Chief.

“During that time, Jeremy has served in the County Special Ops rope rescue and hazmat teams, been a paramedic for 20 years, and has earned many state certifications, as well as, multiple degrees and a Gubernatorial Commendation.”

FWBFD Public Information

Morgan said the residents around Okaloosa County are what drive him to serve.

“It’s always tended to be a close-knit community,” said Morgan. “Regardless if you’re in Destin, Fort Walton or the Crestview-Baker area, It’s always been close-knit. That’s what I enjoy and why I want to give back.”

Interim City Manager Jeff Peters sent a statement on Morgan’s promotion.

“All- Please help me welcome Jeremy Morgan into the permanent Fire Chief position. Jeremy has been serving as the Interim Fire Chief for the past couple months. His work ethic, attitude, and leadership skills made this an easy decision! Keep up all the good work for the City of Fort Walton Beach.”

Jeff Peters