Meet the Fire Chief

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Neal de Jesus, Fire Chief

Neal de Jesus

Chief de Jesus has served the Fire Rescue and Emergency Medical Services for 37 years.  He began his career as a Firefighter in Sarasota County, FL at the age of 18 before moving on to Coral Gables where he became a State Certified Paramedic, Fire Inspector and Fire Service Instructor. Throughout the years Neal continued his training and education attending Miami Dade College, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Maryland Staff and Command and the National Fire Academy where he graduated from the Executive Fire Officer Program (EFO) in 1999.  Neal served as a Firefighter Paramedic, Driver Engineer, Lieutenant, Captain, Battalion Commander, Division Chief, Assistant Chief and Deputy Fire Chief before retiring as Fire Chief.  He also served as a SWAT Paramedic, member of the Department’s Special Response Team. After retiring from Coral Gables, Neal spent the next several years serving as a City Commissioner and as President of The Diversified Group Consulting before returning to the Fire Service as Fire Chief and Executive Director of the Broward Sheriff’s Office Fire Rescue and Emergency Services until retiring again in January 2013.  In March of 2016 Neal returned to the Fire Service as the Fire Chief for the City of Delray Beach Fire Rescue. In December 2016 he was appointed Interim City Manager and returned to Fire Chief in November of 2017 where he served again until March 1, 2019 when he was appointed Interim City Manager and currently serves.

Neal has served as a member (Chair) of the State Emergency Response Team (SERT), The Florida State Fire College Technical Rescue Curriculum Review Committee (Chair), and the International Association of Fire Chief’s Transportation Emergency Rescue Committee (Chair), World Rescue Association – WRO (Member). He has also served as a member (Chair) of the Broward County Ethic’s Commission, Broward County Consolidated Communications Committee, Broward County Management and Efficiency Study Committee, Broward League of Cities Legislative Action Committee, Broward League of Cities Public Safety Committee and the Broward League of Cities Training and Education Committee (Chair), the Broward County Planning Council and the Florida Bar Grievance Committee. He currently serves as the President of the Fire Chiefs Association of Palm Beach County and is a member of the Florida Fire Chiefs’ Association where he serves as the 2nd Vice President. Additionally, Neal is the Chairman of the Florida Firefighters Employment, Standards and Training Council for the Division of State Fire Marshal, As well as a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the Metro Fire Chiefs Association, Southeastern Association of Fire Chiefs and the National Society of Executive Fire Officers.  On behalf of the Florida Fire Chiefs Association Neal facilitates multiple courses for the Emergency Services Leadership Institute throughout the State.  Neal is also a regular presenter on leadership and organizational development at local, state, national and international conferences and symposiums. As President and Managing Partner of Diversified Group Consulting he provides supervision, management and leadership training, organizational assessment and development consult, policy review and recommendation, as well as Chief Fire Officer Development and mentoring.