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Coral Springs-Parkland Fire Department welcomes John Whalen as new fire chief

Coral Springs, Florida – In what appears to be a significant leadership transition within the Coral Springs-Parkland Fire Department (CSPFD), Chief John Whalen was officially sworn in as the new Fire Chief during a formal Transfer of Command Ceremony on Friday, June 28. Whalen steps into the role previously held by his close friend and colleague, Chief Michael McNally, who recently announced his retirement.

Having served the CSPFD in a variety of roles over the past 28 years, seasoned veteran Chief Whalen brings an extensive amount of knowledge to his new position. Whalen shown his leadership and operational ability by briefly serving as Interim Fire Chief before his promotion, having been Deputy Fire Chief since February 2020.

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“I am very humbled and honored to lead this incredible organization and I look forward to continuing to work with the dedicated men and women who proudly serve the community,” Whalen said. “I am excited to be a part of the future of this department and to continue to provide exemplary service to the residents and visitors of Coral Springs and Parkland.”

Whalen has occupied almost every position in the fire service over his time at CSPFD, including Deputy Chief of Operations and Assistant Chief for Bravo Shift. In these roles, he was instrumental in overseeing in-service training, EMS, and Special Operations. Whalen also led in the classroom; beginning in 2000, he was a lead instructor at the Coral Springs Fire Academy and significantly helped to create their Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Program.

John Whalen was officially sworn in as the new Fire Chief of Coral Springs-Parkland Fire Department on June 28 promising bright future
Courtesy of City of Coral Springs

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Whalen’s contributions to the field of emergency response as well as the department have not gone unseen. Frank Babinec, the former Fire Chief and present Coral Springs City Manager, spoke at the event expressing his faith in Whalen’s competence.

“I feel confident that you will leave a lasting mark on our department and, ultimately, that you will make our community even safer for the residents we proudly serve,” Babinec said. “As City Manager, I could not be prouder to see you take on this new role and responsibility, and I cannot wait to see what is in store for the future of this department under your leadership.”

Apart from his regular responsibilities, Chief Whalen pays great attention to the welfare of first responders. He worked on many programs aiming at enhancing Safety, Health, and Wellness while serving as the Health and Safety Officer for CSPFD from 2015 to 2019. Among his efforts were those toward Clean Cab Design, Exposure Reduction, and Peer/Mental Health Support.

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Chief Whalen is expected to supervise the safety of not only the citizens and visitors of Coral Springs and Parkland but also that of more than 200 sworn troops and administrative staff within the department as he takes on his new duties. His great experience and committed service point to a bright future for CSPFD under his direction.

Alfred Duncan

Alfred Duncan is a senior editor at The South Florida Daily, where he oversees our coverage of politics, misinformation, health and economics. Alfred is a former reporter and editor for BuzzFeed News, National Geographic and USA Today.

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