Joel Baker
Joel Baker

Mayor Kasim Reed has appointed Joel Baker as Chief of the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department (AFRD), according to a statement released by the city. Prior to Mayor Reed’s announcement, Baker served as AFRD’s Interim Chief. The department has 35 fire stations and more than 1,000 employees, sworn and civilians, serving an area of 132 square miles within the city limits of Atlanta.

In his role as Interim Chief, Joel Baker has led the effort to ensure that AFRD maintains its ISO Class 1 rating and international accreditation by the Center for Public Safety Excellence. The City of Atlanta is one of 19 cities with both certifications.

“I want to thank Mayor Reed for his confidence and faith in me. It is an honor to be named Chief of the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department, and it is particularly meaningful to be chosen for this role after serving the City of Atlanta for more than twenty years,” said Baker. “I pledge my commitment to Mayor Reed and to the women and men of AFRD, and I will work every day to meet the expectations of the stakeholders and residents of the City of Atlanta.”

A native of the City of Atlanta, Baker began his professional fire service career with the City of East Point Fire Department in 1986. In 1988, he joined the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department where he has served as a firefighter and paramedic, Fire Lieutenant in the Field Operations division and the Atlanta Fire Training Academy, Captain of the department’s Hazardous Material/Technical Rescue Unit, Section Chief in the Office of Professional Standards and Assistant Chief to the Office of Support Services.

He holds an Associate’s Degree in Fire Science Technology, a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Resources and Policy Studies from Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, a Master’s of Public Administration Degree in Justice Administration from Columbus State University and is currently working toward his Doctorate of Education in Leadership at Creighton University.

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Collin KelleyEditor

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.