WALTON COUNTY, Fla. — Walton County Fire Rescue Chief Austin Pugh has been named the department’s new fire chief.
Pugh, 42, is a career public safety professional who has served the Florida panhandle for over 20 years. He began his career as an EMT with Holmes County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in 2001 before accepting a position with Walton County EMS in November of that same year.
“I am proud to announce Chief Austin Pugh as Walton County Fire Rescue’s fire chief,” said Sheriff Michael Adkinson.
“As a 20-year member of this organization, he is well respected not only by his peers but also by professionals outside of the agency. He is dedicated to this agency and will no doubt lead his team to greatness.”
According to Walton County Fire Rescue, Pugh was integral in creating the department, which was officially established in 2005. Pugh worked as a firefighter-paramedic for several years before rising through the ranks as a lieutenant, battalion chief, training chief, and assistant chief of operations.
During his tenure, Pugh governed in several leadership positions within the Local 4413 Union, serving as union president from 2013 to 2015.
While in various positions in the agency, Pugh has dealt with labor management, policy and procedures, and capital improvement. He also assisted in developing the first comprehensive training plan for Walton County Fire Rescue.
A graduate of the National Fire Academy, Pugh holds a degree in fire administration and several state certifications. He has also worked as an adjunct instructor for Northwest State Florida’s fire academy.
Walton County Fire Rescue is the primary provider of advanced life support (ALS), emergency medical services (EMS), and the most extensive fire suppression agency north of Choctawhatchee Bay in Walton County.