Jul. 30—After six years of leading the department, Glynn County Fire-Rescue Chief R.K. Jordan announced his retirement Friday.
Jordan, 65, told The News he had already made plans to retire in December, but he decided to move his retirement ahead in order to accommodate a date with an intensive back surgery that can no longer be put off.
That surgery is scheduled for Thursday, he said.
After the lengthy recovery, Jordan and his wife plan on taking an Alaskan cruise in the near future and a European vacation sometime after that, he said.
Jordan has spent nearly 50 years in the fire-rescue profession. He took the reins of the Glynn County Fire-Rescue Department in February 2016 after serving as assistant fire chief in Fort Myers, Fla., from 2000 to the time he accepted the job in Glynn County.
Jordan said he has served with none better than the men and women serving Glynn County.
“I appreciate the support this community has provided me,” Jordan said. “And having led the greatest fire department I have ever worked for has been an honor. I’m certain the department will continue to progress forward and provide for every need the community has.”
Jordan said Wednesday will be his last day. Newly-hired assistant fire chief Vinnie DiCristofalo will serve as interim fire chief, Glynn County Manager William Fallon said.
Formerly the interim fire chief in Fort Myers Beach, DiCristofalo joined the Glynn County Fire-Rescue Department in June.
DiCristofalo worked under Jordan for 14 years in Fort Myers. He was Jordan’s hand-picked choice for the county’s newly created assistant fire chief position.
Jordan said Friday he recruited DiCristofalo with his own pending retirement in mind.
However, Jordan said he is pretty certain county officials will conduct a broader search for his full-time replacement as chief.
“I did seek him with every intention of recommending him as my replacement,” Jordan said. “I’m sure they will do a larger search, but I’m also sure he will jump to the top of their list.”
DiCristofalo began his fire-rescue career in 1997 in Panama City, Fla., before moving on to Fort Myers three years later.
Fallon credited Jordan with bringing innovations and advanced technology during his tenure with the county fire-rescue department, which includes eight stations and more than 130 firefighters, EMS workers, administrators and fire inspectors.
“Chief Jordan has dedicated 47 years of his life to firefighting, an amazing accomplishment,” Fallon said. “We want to thank him for his dedication to Glynn County, to public service and to the firefighting profession.”
A native of West Virginia, Jordan worked briefly in the region’s coal mines before entering a career in the fire-rescue services. A volunteer firefighter in West Virginia beginning in 1975, Jordan went on to serve 14 years with the Fort Myers Beach Fire Control District before taking the role of assistant fire chief in Fort Myers in 2000. He attained master and bachelor’s degrees in several fire-rescue and emergency services disciplines in the process.
“It’s been an adventure that I loved every step of the way,” Jordan said.
Word of the county fire chief’s retirement comes the same week as veteran Brunswick Fire Chief Randy Mobley announced his retirement. Mobley served 40 years with the Brunswick Fire Department, the last 10 of those years as chief.