Rick Hartzog has served as Assistant Chief of Administration since June of 2010. Asst. Chief Hartzog began his career with the Lakeland Fire Department in January of 1991 as a Firefighter / Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). He served as a Lieutenant and as a Battalion Chief prior to being selected as Assistant Chief in 2010.
Assistant Chief Hartzog is a member of the Florida Fire Chiefs’ Association (FFCA). He earned his Associate’s degree in Fire Science from Polk State College, is a graduate of Florida State University’s Certified Public Manager program, and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from the University of South Florida. Assistant Chief Hartzog is also the department’s most recent graduate from the Florida Fire Chiefs' Association Emergency Services Leadership Institute (ESLI), designed to address contemporary leadership issues that affect Florida’s chief fire officers. He is also certified as an EMT.
Assistant Chief Hartzog’s primary responsibilities include overseeing the department’s overall budget, fire stations, fire apparatus, and equipment. Rick also develops short, medium, and long range strategic budgetary goals for the department and manages the department’s provisionary strategies for the annual budget process. Asst. Chief Hartzog serves as project lead on fire facility and apparatus design and oversees all payroll and purchasing. He manages the department’s fire-fleet division, Computer Applications Specialist, and clerical staff. He is the department’s lead fire negotiator in union contract negotiations and is an active participant in Labor/Management Alliance initiatives.
Assistant Chief Hartzog is passionate about firefighter health, wellness, and safety initiatives; with the goal to aggressively address mental, physical, and safety initiatives that can improve our firefighter’s overall health and safety. He is a member of the Florida Health and Safety Collaborative, Cancer Coalition, and Firefighters Against the Cancer Epidemic (F.A.C.E.).