Before joining FEMA, Mr. Paulison, who has 30 years of fire rescue services experience, was chief of the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department. In that position, he oversaw 1,900 personnel with a $200 million operating budget and a $70 million capital budget. He also oversaw the county's emergency management office.
He began his career as a rescue firefighter and rose through the ranks to rescue lieutenant, battalion commander, district chief of operations, division chief, assistant chief and then deputy director for administration before becoming chief. His emergency management experience includes Hurricane Andrew and the crash of ValuJet Flight 592.
A native of Miami, Fla., Mr. Paulison earned a bachelor of arts from Florida Atlantic University and completed the Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He received the LeRoy Collins Distinguished Alumni Award and was inducted into the Miami-Dade Community College Hall of Fame. Mr. Paulison was selected as fire chief of the year by Florida in 1993 and holds positions in several professional associations. He is a certified paramedic and as fire chief, oversaw the Miami-Date Urban Search and Rescue Task Force. He is also past president of the International Association of Fire Chiefs.
Oops!!! I should know better than to base decisions on a FEMA bio. Steve Soto points out that Paulison is Mr Duct Tape. OK, I quit fact checking because I'm trying to get a job at The Washington Post.