Pinellas Suncoast Fire & Rescue’s Chiefs
Chief T. Michael Burton, MS, BS, EFO, CFO
Fire Chief Pinellas Suncoast Fire & Rescue District
Tamarac, FL Fire Rescue Department (Ret.); Greenville, NC (Ret.); Grand Rapids, MI (Ret.); St. Petersburg, FL (Ret.)
Chief Mike Burton started at the Pinellas Suncoast Fire & Rescue District on October 9, 2017. Mike Burton comes to PSFRD as a 42 veteran of the fire and EMS service, most recently serving as the fire chief with the Tamarac, FL Fire Rescue Department. He has been an active participant in the establishment of 5 automatic aid agreements with neighboring departments as well as the establishment of the Broward County Regional 911 System that provides service to 29 of the county’s 31 cities.
Chief Burton started his career in St. Petersburg, FL. He rose through the ranks where he served in many roles, including the Training Chief and retired in 1999 as the Assistant Chief overseeing the Operations Division.
In 1999, he assumed the position of Fire Chief for the City of Grand Rapids, MI, a city of 200,000. In this role he made significant gains in improving the labor/management relationship, including the negotiation of labor agreements with the IAFF, as well as an effective relationship with the media.
In 2004, he assumed the position of Fire Rescue Chief for the City of Greenville, NC, a university city of 82,000 people. Due to the rapid growth of the city during his tenure the department added a sixth station and increased its staffing to 157. The department operated North Carolina Task Force #10, a combined USAR and swift water rescue team. The department provided paramedic level transport services.
Burton is a credentialed Chief Fire Officer through the Center for Public Safety Excellence and serves as a peer reviewer for Chief Fire Officer Candidates for the Center for Public Safety Excellence, Commission on Fire Accreditation International. He serves the International Association of Fire Chiefs on their Program Planning Committee for their annual international conference.
Chief Burton holds a master’s degree from Grand Canyon University in Executive Fire Service Leadership, and a bachelor’s in Organizational Studies from Eckerd College. He is also a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer Program through the U.S. Fire Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency.