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Mayor Kasim Reed Appoints Joel Baker as Chief of the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department

Post Date:06/18/2015 9:00 AM
Mayor Kasim Reed press release header

 Mayor’s Office of Communications
55 Trinity Avenue, Suite 2500 • Atlanta, Georgia 30303

Anne Torres, Director
404-330-6423, office
404-904-2618, cell

Jenna Garland, Press Secretary
404-330-6612, office
404-357-5579, cell


News Release

Mayor Kasim Reed Appoints Joel Baker as Chief of the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department

ATLANTA – Mayor Kasim Reed today announced his appointment of Joel Baker as Chief of the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department (AFRD). Prior to Mayor Reed’s announcement, Baker served as AFRD’s Interim Chief. The department has 35 fire stations and more than 1,000 employees, sworn and civilians, serving an area of 132 square miles within the city limits of Atlanta.

“I am proud to name Joel Baker as Chief of the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department,” said Mayor Reed. “Chief Baker has served the department with honor and distinction. I am confident in Chief Baker’s leadership, his steadfast commitment to his firefighters and staff, and his high standard of excellence for one of the nation’s leading fire departments.”

In his role as Interim Chief, Joel Baker has led the effort to ensure that AFRD maintains its ISO Class 1 rating and international accreditation by the Center for Public Safety Excellence. The City of Atlanta is one of 19 cities with both certifications.

“I want to thank Mayor Reed for his confidence and faith in me. It is an honor to be named Chief of the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department, and it is particularly meaningful to be chosen for this role after serving the City of Atlanta for more than twenty years,” said Chief Joel Baker. “I pledge my commitment to Mayor Reed and to the women and men of AFRD, and I will work every day to meet the expectations of the stakeholders and residents of the City of Atlanta.”

A native of the City of Atlanta, Baker began his professional fire service career with the City of East Point Fire Department in 1986. In 1988, he joined the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department where he has served as a firefighter and paramedic, Fire Lieutenant in the Field Operations division and the Atlanta Fire Training Academy, Captain of the department’s Hazardous Material/Technical Rescue Unit, Section Chief in the Office of Professional Standards and Assistant Chief to the Office of Support Services.

He holds an Associate’s Degree in Fire Science Technology, a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Resources and Policy Studies from Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, a Master’s of Public Administration Degree in Justice Administration from Columbus State University and is currently working toward his Doctorate of Education in Leadership at Creighton University.

Recognizing the importance of community engagement, Chief Baker continues to participate in many community organizations, including the Atlanta Citizens Fire Academy, the Atlanta Citizens Emergency Response Team, and the Atlanta Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen. He is also a member of Board of Directors at the Andrew and Walter Young YMCA.


For more information about the City of Atlanta, please visit or watch City Channel 26. Follow the City of Atlanta on Facebook and Twitter @CityofAtlanta. Follow Mayor Reed on Facebook and Twitter @Kasim Reed

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