Fire Chief Ryan H. Crawford started his fire service career in 1996 after completion of an active duty military obligation in the U.S. Navy. Crawford joined the South Walton Fire District in 2001 as a Firefighter/Paramedic. He was promoted to Division Chief of Emergency Medical Services in 2006; Assistant Chief of Operations in 2011; and Fire Chief / Administrator in 2019. Chief Crawford is a licensed paramedic, a state certified fire instructor, and holds associate degrees in both Liberal Arts and Emergency Medical Services and a bachelor’s degree in public administration from Florida State University. Crawford holds an undergraduate certificate in Emergency Management and Homeland Security from Florida State University’s Askew School of Public Administration and Policy and is a graduate of the Florida Fire Chiefs Association’s prestigious Emergency Services Leadership Institute (ESLI). Chief Crawford currently serves as the Northwest Florida Regional Director for the Florida Fire Chief’s Association, the Regional Coordinator for the State of Florida’s Statewide Emergency Response Plan for Region 1, serves as an active member of the Walton Area Chamber of Commerce, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, and the Florida Association of Special Districts.