TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – St. Petersburg Fire & Rescue Chief James Large was named 2022 Florida Fire Chief of the year by the Florida Fire Chiefs’ Association.

Chief Large has been with St. Petersburg Fire & Rescue since 1974 and has served as the fire chief since 2006.

“Over his 48-year career, his vast list of accomplishments includes obtaining and maintaining accreditation and ISO Class 1 designation for the department, implementing a fire cadet program, instituting three COVID-19 Strike Team Units, and establishing a comprehensive behavioral health program focused on mental well-being to lower the risk of suicide within the fire service,” St. Pete Fire & Rescue said.

The association held its annual Executive Development Conference in Naples in July, which concluded with the announcement. According to St. Pete Fire & Rescue, the award recognizes an “outstanding fire chief who demonstrates an exceptional level of leadership, integrity, and service.”