‘A huge milestone’: Polk County Fire Rescue names 1st female deputy chief

Polk County

Courtesy: Polk County

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A recent promotion of two long-time Polk County Fire Rescue veterans to deputy chief also brings a first for the division – it’s first woman to hold the rank of deputy chief.

Jennifer Huff and Eugene Gorokhov were promoted Monday to deputy chief by Fire Chief Robert Weech. Huff will serve in the planning division and Gorokhov in the training division.

“Deputy Chief Huff’s promotion is a huge milestone for Polk County Fire Rescue,” Weech said. “In a profession dominated by men, Huff has stood out, broken her own ground and deserves this position – not because of her gender, but by her skill.”

County officials say Huff began her career in 1995 as a volunteer firefighter and climbed the ranks over the years as an emergency medical technician and paramedic, to firefighter, engineer, lieutenant, battalion chief, and now deputy chief.

She will join Chief Gorokhov as members of the Executive Command staff.

Eugene Gorokhov – Courtesy: Polk County

“Deputy Chief Gorokhov has a proven record as an operational battalion chief as well as a proven leader in various administrative functions,” Weech said. “Their combined knowledge and experience will be a huge benefit to our organization.”

Gorokhov is originally from Siberia, Russia, and began his career as a volunteer with Polk County Fire Rescue in 2002 as a firefighter before being hired full time in 2005. Officials say he has also served as a firefighter paramedic, medical battalion chief, and battalion chief and lead the division’s quality assurance and improvement section in the Office of Medical Direction before his recent promotion.

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