MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A former Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Chief who led the department through some very challenging times has been honored for his dedication and service.
On Monday, the department’s headquarters at 9300 NW 41st Street in Doral were renamed for retired Chief R. David Paulison.
Surrounded by his wife, daughters and grandchildren, Chief Paulison stood proudly before the building he once called home that now bears his name.
“It is such an honor,” said Chief Paulison. “I love this department, I spent 30 years here. I was born and raised in Dade County so this is very special…very, very special.”
Paulison served as the county’s Fire Chief from 1992 until his retirement in 2001. Under his leadership, he led the department through some of its most difficult times including Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and the crash of Valujet Flight 592.
Paulison was also instrumental in getting a bond referendum passed in 1994 that paved the way for the county’s fire rescue department to expand by adding ten new fire stations, building a new state-of-the-art training facility, and buying the current headquarters building.
When Paulison retired from the department in 2001, he was appointed by President George W. Bush as the United States Fire Administrator. In 2005, President Bush appointed Paulison as the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) where he served as the Administrator until 2009.
On March 21, 2017, the Board of County Commissioners adopted Resolution No. R-297-17 renaming the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department Headquarters to the R. David Paulison Fire Rescue Headquarters.
“It is just very humbling,” Chief Paulison said. “I believe in teamwork and I believe that everybody’s name should be up there. It is just such an honor.”