Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
August 19, 2015 4:49 p.m.
City Manager Joe Gerrity introduced the Fernandina Beach City Commissioners (FBCC) and the community to its new Fire Chief—Harvey “Ty” Silcox– at the beginning of the FBCC’s August 18, 2015 Regular Meeting. Gerrity said that Silcox has more than 30 years experience and most recently served as Orange Park Fire Chief from 2002 until his recent retirement. Silcox has an undergraduate degree from Flagler College and a Masters Degree from Barry University. Silcox is a Certified Florida Paramedic and Professional Firefighter I and II. He also holds national certifications. Gerrity expressed his confidence in Silcox and also paid tribute to the qualifications of all the interviewed candidates for the position.
Gerrity said that Silcox has already started work, and that the official oath of office has been administered. But the FBCC meeting provided an opportunity for a public redo of the ceremony. Following City of Fernandina Beach Clerk Caroline Best’s ceremonial swearing in of the new chief, Mrs. Ladonna Silcox officially pinned the Fire Chief badge on her husband.
Silcox–who prefers to be called Ty, not Harvey—thanked Gerrity and the FBCC for the opportunity to serve as fire chief. He said, “You have a great department here, and I’m very honored to be the leader of that department.” He said he was very surprised to see all the firefighters show up for his investiture and thanked them for doing so. “If you haven’t had a chance to stop by the fire stations to visit these guys,” he said, “you need to take that opportunity. You have a great group of firefighters here, and they put their life on the line every day for you.” Silcox also invited people to stop by his office. “Come by, and we’ll chat,” he said.
He left the podium to a round of applause from the commissioners and the audience.
Mayor Ed Boner said, “It’s nice to see the firefighters all show up for this occasion.” He also recognized former City Fire Chief Danny Leeper who attended the swearing in, saying, “I’ve also heard some nice things about you [Silcox] from him [Leeper].”
Editor’s Note: Suanne Z. Thamm is a native of Chautauqua County, NY, who moved to Fernandina Beach from Alexandria,VA, in 1994. As a long time city resident and city watcher, she provides interesting insight into the many issues that impact our city. We are grateful for Suanne’s many contributions to the Fernandina Observer.