After five months of searching for the right candidate to take over the job as Chief of the Jackson County Fire Rescue, it took the commissioners less than a minute to make it a unanimous vote. County administrator Wilanne Daniels presented her choice after interviews of Marianna native Charlie Brunner to take over the top spot at JCFR.
Eric Hill made the motion with a second by Chuck Lockey and the vote quickly went 5-0 in favor of Brunner. Prior to the vote, Daniels said Brunner had 12 years of career service, eight of which was in Jackson County Fire Rescue with some of those years spent as lieutenant and then as captain. He has been in Bay County for four years and is currently a lieutenant. He is a 2006 graduate of Mariana High School, received his EMT in Gulf Coast in 2007, graduated the fire academy at Chipola in 2007, his paramedic at Chipola in 2008 and received his AA at Chipola in 2011. He is scheduled to graduate with his BS in business administration in May of 2019. Daniels also requested the board waive the 60-day waiting period for insurance. The waiver was included in the motion to hire Brunner.
Charlie Brunner’s history is extensive in this line, having started in Washington County as a 911 dispatcher for the Washington County Sheriff’s Department following graduation from Marianna High School while he was in EMT school. Prior to that, while he was in high school, he volunteered with the Marianna Fire Department and Jackson County Fire Rescue. To say helping and serving others is in his blood, is an understatement. Charlie is the son of Dr. Rick Brunner and the grandson of Dr. William Brunner. His brother John Brunner is a resident physician at St. Bernard’s Healthcare in Jonesboro,
When asked about his thoughts on returning to Marianna, an always very humble Brunner said, “I’m just humbled for the opportunity to be able to serve the citizens of Jackson County in this capacity. It’s just a warm feeling to be able to return home where people know you personally. I think that was the one thing that I didn’t feel the connection in Bay County because I didn’t know anybody other than my coworkers and colleagues. I didn’t know the patients and people’s homes like I did when I worked in Jackson County. I am very excited. I think there is a lot of growing for Jackson County to do and I hope to help that agency to grow and hopefully reach its potential.”
Brunner outlined some of his specific goals, “One of the goals is to continue a good working relationship with the volunteer fire departments because we support them just as much as they support us. I want to make sure we work together.”
Brunner is married to Marsana and they have a ten-year daughter Annalyn. He is the son of Dr. Rick Brunner and Charlotte Brunner of Marianna. Brunner is slated to report to work January 02, 2019.