As One Shark Retires, Another Takes Helm as Fire Chief MDC alumnus Joseph Zahralban has been named Miami’s new fire chief. He takes the reins from Maurice Kemp, another MDC alumnus who recently retired. Zahralban, 45, has worked for the City of Miami Department of Fire-Rescue nearly his entire adult life, rising up through the ranks. In his new post, he is now leading a $125 million department that includes 750 firefighters. The department handles more than 100,000 emergency calls per year. Nicknamed “Joe Z,” Zahralban was already driving a fire truck by age 19. He soon became a task force leader for the South Florida FEMA Urban Search and Rescue team. Zahralban – previously the deputy chief – was selected after a competitive internal process, continuing in Kemp’s footsteps of proud MDC alumni who have led the way in fire safety.
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