BROOKSVILLE — Brooksville fire Chief Tim Mossgrove, who has been with the city's fire rescue department for 24 years, has been named one of nine finalists for the city of Seminole's top fire department position.
Mossgrove, 43, said Thursday that in June, he applied for the Seminole position, vacated when fire Chief Dan Graves retired in March. He said he advised his boss, City Manager Jennene Norman-Vacha, that he had done so.
The decision to apply for the position was for both professional and personal reasons, Mossgrove said. He not only was drawn to the challenge of running a department with an $8 million annual budget and 75 full-time employees, but also felt the move to Pinellas County would be a relief to his wife, Terri, who commutes more than 100 miles each day to her job as a teacher at St. Petersburg College's Clearwater campus.
"I love my job, and I love Brooksville, but right now, I'm also looking ahead, both for me and my family," he said. "I see it see it as a tremendous opportunity for me to use my talents."
For Mossgrove, whose current salary is just over $71,000, the Seminole position, which advertises a salary range of $73,288 to $106,268, would also bring financial benefits that he thinks he has earned.
"When you look around the county, I'm the lowest-paid chief," he said. "Looking down the road, I'm not sure I see a lot of opportunity here."
Mossgrove joined the fire department in 1986 as a reserve firefighter. His salary then was $100 a month. In time, he rose through the ranks and was named department captain in 2002. He succeeded James Daugherty as fire chief in 2006.
Since then, Mossgrove, whose educational background includes a degree in public safety administration, plus ongoing course work toward an eventual master's degree, has made it his mission to bring the department technologically up to date. Among those achievements was the installation of a global positioning system in fire and rescue vehicles that would enable firefighters to quickly find locations of addresses and fire hydrants.
Currently, he is working with the county's fire rescue department to establish the city's first advanced life-support program.
A spokeswoman for the city of Seminole said that there is no immediate time line for the selection of a new fire chief, but that City Manager Frank Edmunds hopes to begin interviewing the finalists in the coming weeks.
Mossgrove said that if he doesn't get the job, he will remain in Brooksville.
Logan Neill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 848-1435.