Brevard County Fire Rescue chief fired



BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - Brevard County Fire Rescue Chief Larry Collins has been fired, Channel 9 learned Wednesday.

The Brevard County manager said he believed he and Collins had different visions for the future of Fire Rescue, but no other details were released.

Collins had been with the department for five years, but recently, there had been some friction within the department.

Last month, the county manager rescinded his approval for Collins’ choice for deputy chief.

“It really boils down to a difference of opinion on the direction the department was heading and that led to the decision this morning,” said Brevard County spokesperson Don Walker.

In emails obtained by Eyewitness News, County Manager Stockton Whitten told Chief Larry Collins he heard the organization was extremely upset over Collins’ choice for the deputy chief.

Raising questions about the selection process, Whitten withdrew approval for the selection the day after the Seminole County candidate asked to be removed from conditional employment.

Back in May, WFTV spoke to Collins about mandatory overtime requirements for firefighters due to staffing issues and what he was doing to attract and retain firefighters.

“It’s not just about salary. It’s about equipment and all those things, and we’re working hard to be competitive all around,” Collins had said.

Mark Shollmeyer, a 25-year veteran of the department, was named interim chief, officials said.

Collins will receive a 90-day severance package on his $104,000 yearly salary.

Collins joined the department in 2009 after retiring from his job as chief and director of the Dayton, Ohio, Fire Department.