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Command Staff

Eloy Ricardo

Fire Chief

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Meet Chief Ricardo

As Fire Chief, Eloy Ricardo directs North Collier Fire’s all-hazards response efforts. A fundamental element to Ricardo’s management style is the Service First philosophy that guides him in all aspects of his personal and professional life and provides for the highest level of service to the community he serves.

Ricardo’s history with the District began in 2001 as a Firefighter.  His leadership capabilities, coupled with the understanding that the wisest decisions are based on the best interests of the constituents served, propelled him upward through the ranks from Firefighter, Lieutenant, Inspector and Assistant Chief of Life Safety to his current position of Fire Chief.  Notable achievements under Ricardo’s command includes the 2014 integration of North Collier and Collier County plans reviewers at the County’s Growth Management office in order to provide one-stop, efficient and seamless service to area residents, builders, and developers. Additionally, in 2010, Ricardo was a driving force behind the development of legislation providing for the voluntary merger of special districts, legislation that later was utilized in the 2015 North Naples Fire-Big Corkscrew Island Fire merger.

Hailing originally from New York state, and then Miami since his youth, Ricardo’s more than two decades of experience as a public servant expands well beyond the confines of North Collier Fire. Affiliations include the Collier County Fire & EMS Chiefs’ Association, Florida Fire Marshals and Inspectors Association, Florida Fire Chiefs’ Association, International Association of Fire Chiefs, International Association of Firefighters, Florida Association of Special Districts and the National Association of State Fire Marshals. Moreover, by the nomination of his peers, Ricardo also served as District Vice President for the Florida Professional Firefighters for more than thirteen years.

Understanding the importance of community, Ricardo has volunteered as an assistant football coach at Gulf Coast High School since 2011, leading the school to their first district championship in 2017. This engagement with his community’s youth-inspired Ricardo to create the Helmet to Heroes program that mentors area high school football players interested in fire, EMS or law enforcement to realize careers as first responders. The program has already graduated students from both firefighter and EMT academies.  Additionally, Ricardo has assisted on the Executive Board of the Pop Warner Naples Hurricanes Youth Football Association. Beyond the Naples community, Ricardo’s volunteerism included a Florida International Volunteer Corp trip to Nicaragua to teach locals firefighting, an inspirational journey as Ricardo notes.

Recognition includes 2015 and 2018 State of Florida Training Center of Year for which Ricardo oversees as well as the 2017 State of Florida Professional Firefighter of the Year, the first Collier County Firefighter to receive the award.

Chief Ricardo has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Fire Administration from Columbia Southern University.

Michael Jimenez

Deputy Chief

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As Deputy Chief for North Collier Fire Control and Rescue District, Michael Jimenez oversees various divisions including Operations, Life Safety & Fire Prevention and Essential Services comprised of Fleet, Logistics and Facilities. With the District since 2001, Chief Jimenez’ long history and his extensive understanding of the department is invaluable.  His decisive yet constructive and supportive approach to problem solving provides the needed framework for sound decision making for his divisions.

Born and raised in Miami, Chief Jimenez completed firefighter school at the age of 21. After fire school graduation, Jimenez was immediately hired by the District as an Inspector, a position he held for three years.

From there, Jimenez transferred to the Operations division as a Firefighter where he progressively moved up through the ranks from Firefighter to Battalion Chief of Training. In this position, Jimenez managed all training for the department’s firefighters. Additionally, he coordinated the training for the District’s firefighter academy for ten years. During his tenure as coordinator, the academy was recognized by the State of Florida as Fire Training Center of the Year both in 2015 and 2018.

Chief Jimenez’ education includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Safety Administration.

 

Jorge Aguilera

Deputy Chief

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Jorge Aguilera is a Deputy Chief for the North Collier Fire Control and Rescue District.

Since 1985, Chief Aguilera has been involved in the profession of delivering Emergency Medical Services to the area beginning with Collier County Emergency Medical Services as a Paramedic and rising through the ranks to Lt. Paramedic, Flight Medic and the Division Chief of Training.

He is responsible for the development and implementation of the District’s emergency medical service program including quality assurance and compliance with all local, state and federal guidelines. His role also includes oversight and coordination for training for both of the District’s EMS and Operations’ Divisions.

In addition, he is the Chairman of the North Collier Fire Control and Rescue District EMS Council, EMS Section Representative of the Florida Fire Chiefs’ Association Southwest Florida and serves as a community member on the Physicians Regional Medical Center Board of Trustee’s.   Chief Aguilera has also served as Chairman of the Collier County Injury Prevention Coalition,

Chief Aguilera earned an Associate in Science Degree in Emergency Medical Technology from Edison State College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Hodges University.

Sal D’Angelo III

Executive Director

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Sal D’Angelo is a seasoned fire service executive and is the current Executive Director for the North Collier Fire Control and Rescue District. Since 1994, Chief D’Angelo has worked in the public sector as a Firefighter, Fire Inspector, Management/Budget Analyst, Health/Safety and Environmental Officer, Deputy Fire Chief and Fire Chief/Emergency Management Director. Director D’Angelo possess a Bachelor of Business Administration, Master of Public Administration, and Doctor of Philosophy in Public Administration from Florida Atlantic University. Director D’Angelo’s professional and academic interests include Public Choice Theory, Organizational Design, Strategic Planning, and Human Relations. Director D’Angelo is a member of the American Society for Public Administration and has lectured throughout the country on topical areas of scale economies/efficiencies and emergency management.

Michael Coxwell

Assistant Chief of Life Safety & Prevention

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As Assistant Chief for North Collier Fire Control and Rescue District, Michael Coxwell commands the District’s Life Safety & Prevention division charged with the mission of minimizing the risk of life and property loss from fire by controlling and eliminating hazardous conditions before a fire occurs.

Chief Coxwell leads a team that includes Fire Inspectors, Fire Plan Examiners, Public Education Officers and Fire Marshal, all working together to ensure the public protection of life and property.

Hailing originally from southern California and beginning his career with the District in 1999 as a Firefighter, Chief Coxwell has progressively moved up through the ranks to his current position.

Chief Coxwell’s management style is based on a team approach that emphasizes both task and interpersonal relationships that create a productive working environment.  Chief Coxwell further underscores the importance of customer service coupled with cross-training of staff to ensure the most efficient and beneficial delivery of service to the constituents the District serves.

Education includes an Associate’s of Science degree in both Fire Service Technology and Emergency Medical Services Technician.

 

 

Kristofer Thomas

Assistant Chief of Essential Services

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As Assistant Chief for North Collier Fire Control and Rescue District, Kristofer Thomas oversees the District’s Essential Services division comprised of Fleet, Logistics and Facilities.

Chief Thomas’ long history with the department provides a solid foundation for the Essential Services division, the backbone infrastructure that keeps all District operations running efficiently.  Chief Thomas’ management approach combines attention to detail and the ability to anticipate future needs coupled with strong interpersonal and team building skill sets.

Born and raised in Miami, Chief Thomas joined the District in 1999 as a Firefighter. Thomas’ dedication and commitment to the District aided in his progressive movement upward through the ranks to his current position of Assistant Chief.

Chief Thomas’ education includes an Associate’s Degree in Fire Science.

John McMahon, Jr.

Assistant Chief of Operations

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McMahon’s career in the fire service began in 1973 as a volunteer firefighter for the Hicksville Fire Department in Hicksville, New York. He transitioned south to Florida in 1980 and worked thirty years, retiring from South Trail Fire Protection and Rescue Service District in 2010 as Deputy Fire Chief of Operations. 

McMahon has also been a fire service instructor since 1988, working for the Fort Myers Fire Academy, and Florida Southwest College.  In 2010 after his retirement from South Trail Fire, he founded Emergency Response Training Concepts, which has expanded his teaching to enrich emergency service agencies and personnel around Southwest Florida.  McMahon is an Adjunct Professor with Florida Southwestern State College and holds a degree in Fire Science from Florida Southwestern State College.  He is also a State of Florida EMT and Fire Officer.

Ben Van Klingeren

Chief Financial Officer

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A licensed CPA with a Master’s degree in Accounting/Taxation, Ben’s experience is well suited to the needs of North Collier Fire having more than fifteen years in the accounting industry, most recently as Director of Finance & Regulatory Compliance with a non-profit health center in Ft. Myers.

Prior to that, Ben worked for five years as the Finance Manager at Lehigh Acres Fire Rescue, an independent special district like NCFR. There during the most recent recession, Ben stabilized the District during extreme decreases in ad valorem revenue.

Ben’s background also includes five years as a government/non-profit auditor with Tuscan & Associates, the auditing firm for NCFR. Ben’s history with Tuscan includes work auditing North Naples Fire finances.

Ben hails from southwest Florida and has been married for 13 years to Cheryl, a grade school friend! Cheryl and Ben have two children, Jacob who is 12 and Braden who is 9.

Dena Rader, CPM, B.S., SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Deputy Director of Human Resources

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Dena Rader brings more than 35 years of diverse background and experience in private sector, non-profit and public sector businesses. She has more than 18 years of experience in her chosen profession of human resources. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Business from California Coast University.

Her public service started in Tallahassee in 1992 working for the State of Florida for the Departments of Environmental Protection, Community Affairs and Children and Family Services. Dena moved to Naples in 2013 from Plantation, Florida.   

She is active within her community by volunteering for the Society for Human Resource Management and HR Florida’s local affiliate chapter, HR Collier.  She has served on this board since 2013 in various capacities that include Website Director, Diversity Director, Treasurer, President-Elect and currently as President. Dena helped found the local CPM chapter for Southwest Florida and served as their first Chapter President.

She holds certifications with SHRM as a Senior Certified Professional (SCP) and with the Human Resources Certification Institute as a Senior Human Resource Professional (SPHR), as well as a Certified Public Manager (CPM).

Dena embraces every opportunity to learn and grown in knowledge and experience and to share her insight and best practices with managers, supervisors and leaders.

Lori Freiburg

Deputy Director of Communications

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As Deputy Director of Communications for North Collier Fire Rescue, Lori Freiburg oversees various administrative functions including internal and external communications for the District.

A sixth generation South Floridian, Lori has been a business professional in Naples since 1990, including with The Ritz-Carlton, Naples hotel where she sharpened and refined customer service skills made infamous by the renowned luxury hotel chain.  Additionally, Lori worked nearly a decade in the marketing arena for a Naples’ luxury developer of high-rises and resort communities.

Armed with the understanding that service excellence, both internal and external, provides for happier and fulfilled employees and customers, Lori focuses on systems and processes to enable employee success and customer loyalty.

Lori received her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Piedmont College in Georgia.  She is also certified by the Florida Association of Special Districts as a Certified District Manager and has completed various training including Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.