A Message from Chief Dixon

Chief Joseph Dixon-2 (2).jpg On behalf of the entire department, it is my honor and pleasure to Welcome you to the official web site of Gainesville Fire Rescue (GFR). GFR is an All Hazards response organization comprised of diverse professionals with a  collective desire to meet or exceed your expectations in every aspect of service. Whether Emergency Medical Services, Technical Rescue, Hazardous Materials, Confined Space, or any threat to the safety of the Gainesville community… you can be certain that GFR will be a part of the response and mitigation efforts.

This site seeks to introduce you to key personnel, the many resources available, and organizational accomplishments. Our performance in comparison to other departments across the nation is exceptional. This is not opinion, but supported by tangible data and industry wide recognition. A Public Protection Rating (PPC) as an  ISO-2 coupled with accreditation by the Center for Public Safety Excellence places GFR in the top tier of departments across the country. Just over 10% of the U.S. population is protected by an accredited agency. According to published data, less than 3% of departments earn an ISO rating of 2 or better. The effort and dedication demonstrated by GFR personnel is a constant source of personal pride that should be shared by everyone in our community.

The GFR mission, vision, and values guide us as we seek to meet common challenges head on. Our team is constantly exploring and evaluating creative options to provide the most efficient and effective emergency response activities and proactive risk reduction services to all neighbors and visitors to our community.

It is my hope that you have found exactly what you are looking for during your visit today. In the event that you still have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or any member of my staff. “Thank you” for taking the time to learn about our organization and the many services we proudly provide. We are all humbled to serve.     


Chief's Bio

Chief Joe Dixon has been with Gainesville Fire Rescue (GFR) since March of 2021. He was selected to lead after an extensive nationwide search and assessment of candidates. His responsibilities include the strategic leadership in efforts to educate, protect, and serve the community. His knowledge, skills, and abilities paid immediate dividends in areas that include Community Engagement, Diversity & Inclusion, and Capital Replacement, Capability Assessment, Emergency Management, and Negotiation. Prior to Gainesville, Chief Dixon served for three years as Chief of the Goldsboro, North Carolina Fire Department. There he provided leadership during major emergencies, obtained multiple grants, updated the Emergency Operations Plan, achieved FEMA typing for the water rescue team, reorganized the department to increase efficiency, and established a public private funding stream for the restoration of antique fire apparatus. Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland; He served 25 years with the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services before retirement in June of 2018. As Operations Chief, he provided leadership for approximately four hundred field and administrative personnel while managing a budget of over 80M. Chief Dixon is an adjunct instructor with the University of Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute, a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program, and an alumni of The Carl Holmes Executive Development Institute.  He holds a bachelor’s in fire science from the University of Maryland University College and a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Waldorf College. His advanced professional certifications include Fire Investigator, Fire Officer IV, Hazardous Materials Technician, Fire Instructor III, and Chief Fire Officer (CFO) designation. He currently serves the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) as a 1710 committee member and on the board of the Black Chief Officers Committee (BCOC).