Tim Eures, Emergency Operations Director, has a Masters in Business Administration from Webber International University and is a fourth generation resident of Highlands County, Florida.  He has worked for the Board of County Commissioners since 1991 and has been involved with fire services for more than three decades. During his tenure as the Emergency Operations Director, Tim has managed to transition the Volunteer Fire Departments to County Fire Districts, which afforded consistent revenue for the continued upgrade of firefighting equipment and facilities. Under Tim’s leadership, over 50 new fire apparatus and six new fire stations have been brought into service. Tim served as Project Manager for the design and construction of the new Emergency Operations Center. This state-of-the-art E.O.C. is designed to withstand 200 mile per hour winds and provides a functional work space for disaster essential employees during times of crisis. His foresight was put to good use in 2004 when Highlands County was impacted by three separate hurricanes. The E.O.C. served as the epicenter of response and recovery activities.

Jimmy Branca, fire operations supervisor, Jimmy started his career protecting the public by joining the United States Navy in 1979.  He served onboard the USS Nicholson as a medic and shipboard firefighter while traveling overseas. After the Navy he began working in the public safety arena as a Fire safety Inspector with the Lauderhill Fire Department and then with Hallandale Fire & Rescue as a Firefighter/ EMT . Jimmy is a native Floridian who moved to Highlands County fulltime in 1993 to join our fire services as a Fire Services Specialist. As our County grew he was promoted to the position of Fire Marshal and then ultimately transferred to the Operations Division as Fire Operations Supervisor. He earned his Associates Degree in Fire Science at Polk Community College and went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from Barry University. While balancing family, work, and school he has completed several Florida State Fire certifications as Fire Officer I & II, Inspector I & II, Instructor I & III , Investigator I, Apparatus and Pump Operator, and Hazardous Materials Technician. His training includes wildland and urban interface firefighting and he holds an Incident Qualifications Card (Red Card) with the Florida Fire Chiefs Association as a Strike Team/Task Force leader at the State level. Jimmy is a current member of the Florida Fire Chiefs Association and the Florida Fire Marshals and Inspectors Association. He enjoys spending time traveling with his family, fishing in the local lakes, and going offshore fishing with his son.

James Harris, Fire Services Supervisor/Prevention, began his carrier as a volunteer fire fighter in 1982, in Pocono Summit , Pennsylvania at the age of 17, last position held was that of 2nd Assistant Chief of the Pocono Summit Volunteer Fire Company. Jim moved to Sebring Florida in April of 1989 and soon picked up firefighting with the Sebring Airport Volunteer Fire Department, then with the Highlands Lakes Volunteer Fire Department where he pursued the required state certification for firefighter.  Within a couple of years after completion went to work full time with Polk County Fire Department in 1993. While employed with Polk County Jim completed numerous courses in Hazardous Materials response, Inspections and State Certification for Pump Operator. Jim’s last position held with Polk was that of Firefighter/ Engineer. In October of 2001, Jim was hired on with the city of Avon Park Fire Department as a move to be closer to home and to be able to work within his home community. While with Avon Park He was able to pursue state certification as an EMT and shortly thereafter was interested in moving into the field of fire prevention and inspections. In August of 2004 Jim was hired on with Highlands County Fire Services as a Fire Service Specialist, with primary job duties in the areas of fire prevention and inspection as well as public education. In December of 2007 Jim was promoted within Highlands County Fire Services as a Fire Service Supervisor over the Prevention Division. In the meantime Jim received training and State certification as a Fire Service Instructor I, Hazardous Materials Technician, Live Fire Training Instructor, and the necessary training and courses for the Technical Rescue Team for Highlands County. Jims job duties include, supervising a Fire services specialist, Plans review for commercial and multifamily construction, engineering site plan review, requests for zoning changes and amendments, fire and life safety inspections, site visits to construction sites, and investigating fire and life safety complaints. Jim has worked with and on the Highlands County Wildfire Mitigation project, and also continues training on maintaining minimum requirements for the counties Haz Mat and Tech Rescue Team as well as Fire Safety Inspector, Instructor Certification, and Live Fire Training Instructor.

Jason Luke Andrews, Fire Prevention, is a third generation resident of Highlands County . Luke has been a firefighter in Highlands County for more than two decades. Luke became a volunteer firefighter with the Sun ‘N Lakes of Lake Placid Fire Department in 1990 at age 16 with limited duties due to his age. In 1995 Luke left Highlands County Road and Bridge Department as a Laborer to attend the Fort Myers Fire Academy and became a state certified firefighter which allowed him to come back and share his knowledge with other volunteers. Luke became one of the first four paid firefighters for Highlands County Fire Services in 1999.  In February of 2007 he became a Fire Service Specialist for Highlands County which allows him to teach the public about fire safety.  Luke is also a part of the Highlands County Hazmat and Technical Rescue Teams. He is married to Michelle and they have two sons, Jason and Caleb.

Charles Andrews, Fire Services Supervisor, Training, Charles is a third generation resident of Highlands County Florida and a father of 2 sons.  He has been with the Fire Service since 1987 starting as a volunteer with Sun ’n Lake of Lake Placid, where he volunteered while moving through the ranks and served as Fire Chief there for 15 years. Charles has worked for the Board of County Commissioners since January 1997. He spent a year as an E-911 Operator before working as a firefighter.  In 2000, he became part of Fire Services Staff as Fire Service Specialist conducting Fire Inspections and Public Education.  In 2007 he accepted the undertaking as a Fire Service Supervisor overseeing training.  Here, he has the responsibility of training fire service personnel on subjects from C.P.R. to a comprehensive 264 hour Basic Firefighter course.   Helping the 10 Fire Departments maintain compliance with mandated training requirements and standards.  He also has the responsibility of managing the Highlands County Hazardous Materials Team consisting of 21 HazMat Technicians, required training, response and equipment. Then there is the Urban Search and Rescue Team which includes the 5 disciplines, Confined Space, Building Collapse, Rope Rescue, Trench Rescue and Vehicle Machinery Rescue.

Susan Bailey, Emergency Operations Program Specialist has been involved with Public Safety for over 9 years.  She began her career as a 911 dispatcher at the Emergency Operations Center and transitioned to the Sheriff’s Office when the county-wide dispatch consolidation was implemented in 2006.  Susan has been in her current position as the assistant to the Emergency Operations Director since 2007 and is responsible for various tasks assisting the Fire Services staff, 13 Fire Departments, 250 firefighters and emergency duties during the activation of the Emergency Operations Center.  These responsibilities include; assisting in the development and monitoring of all Fire related budgets and procurement of equipment and supplies. Susan also processes all firefighter applications, schedules training and medical requirements, and maintains the files of all firefighters for compliance in hard copy and an electronic database.