A new fire chief will take command of the Plantation Fire Department in a formal ceremony Tuesday evening.
Incoming Fire Chief Ellison Laney "Laney" Stearns III began his fire service career in 1976 with the Peters Road Volunteer Fire Department. He subsequently served 22 years with the Lauderhill Fire Department where he became Battalion Chief.
Joining the Plantation Fire Department in 1981, Stearns became Fire Marshall in 2001 and an Executive Officer in 2010. His son, Danny, is also employed at the department as a crew chief.
“As a fire service professional, I have experienced every aspect of the fire service during my 36 years,” Chief Stearns has stated. “My main goal is to represent the City of Plantation and the members of the Plantation Fire Department professionally and ethically.”
Stearns is replacing Joe Harris who became chief in 2010 when he was selected to replace retiring Fire Chief, Robert Pudney.
Leading a department with an $11.3 million budget, about 75 paid employees, including division chiefs, a fire captain, paramedics, clerks and mechanics, Stearns, 54, of Plantation, will earn $107,044 annually.
In addition to career command staff and paramedics, Plantation uses volunteer firefighters who are paid $6 per service call.
For residents of the community that wish to attend the formal transfer of command, the ceremony will take place - starting at 7:30 p.m. - at the Plantation Fire Department, located at 550 NW 65th Avenue, Plantation, FL 33317.