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Joseph Dixon Takes Over At Gainesville Fire Rescue Helm

For the past 10 days, a new leader has guided Gainesville Fire Rescue.

New Chief Joseph Dixon has big plans for the department and has already made history.

Dixon comes to Gainesville Fire Rescue from Goldsboro, North Carolina, where he also served as chief.  Prior to this, Dixon served as an assistant fire chief at Howard County station ten in Maryland.

His new focus in Gainesville is on growing a successful team. 

"I don't lead by myself," Dixon said. "Any successful person tells you about the team they build around them."

Dixon is proud of the credentials that allowed him to become chief. However, he believes he is only as successful as the people he leads.

"It is important for me to make sure that I give everybody else an opportunity to succeed. Because, I can't succeed as a fire chief unless every member of the team is successful," Dixon said. 

Dixon's hiring marks the second recent major milestone for the department. He will be the first African American to hold the position as chief. Dixon follows interim Chief JoAnne Rice, the first woman to hold the position in the department's 139-year history.

District 1 Chief Cary Williams said Dixon's hiring came at the right time.

"It shows that not only in the fire service, but also with everything that's going on in the country ... it is a much needed change,” Williams said.

Elizabeth is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing
Victoria is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing