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Meet the Chief

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Fire Chief Rocky Garzarek

 Fire Chief Rocky Garzarek

Rocky Garzarek
Fire Chief
Phone: (615) 550-6756

A more than 40-year veteran of the fire service, Rocky Garzarek has been Franklin's Fire Chief since 2004.

 Under Chief Garzarek's leadership the City of Franklin has improved their fire protection rating with the Insurance Services Office (ISO) three times, achieving the top rating of Class 1 in 2015.

In addition to the improved fire protection rating, Chief Garzarek has improved the department’s emergency medical services from the minimum level of care to Advanced Life Support.  Today nearly 70 percent of the department's calls are medical in nature and 25 percent of the Franklin Fire Department’s personnel are paramedics.

Chief Garzarek began his career with the Rocky Ridge and Center Point, Alabama Fire Departments. He joined the Hoover, Alabama Fire Department in 1977 as a Firefighter and Paramedic, where he advanced through the ranks and retired as Director of Training and Safety in 2001.

Upon retirement, he accepted the position of Deputy Chief of Operations with the Round Rock, Texas Fire Department in 2001. He had been named Interim Fire Chief of the Round Rock Fire Department before accepting the job of Fire Chief for the Franklin, Tennessee Fire Department in 2004.

Chief Garzarek is Past President of the Southeastern Association of Fire Chiefs. The SEAFC includes Tennessee and nine other states, as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It is one of eight regional divisions of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, an organization that represents the leadership of over 1.2 million firefighters and emergency responders in the U.S. and Canada. Prior to serving as president, Chief Garzarek was the SEAFC Tennessee State Director from 2009-2011.

Chief Garzarek is a Peer Assessor for the Commission on Fire Accreditation International, is active on the Tennessee Fire Chiefs Legislative Committee, and was a contributing author/reviewer of the International Fire Service Training Association Chief Officer manual (2004). 

He has a B.S. in Public Administration from Athens State University in Athens, Alabama and an A.A.S. in Fire Science from Jefferson State Community College in Birmingham, Alabama. Chief Garzarek is also a graduate of the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service LEAD (Leading, Educating and Developing) program.