Benjamin M. Barksdale, Jr. resides as the 20th Fire Chief of the Orlando Fire Department. Chief Barksdale began his role as the newly appointed Fire Chief in November 2019, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the department and serving as chief counsel to the Mayor on matters of public safety. Prior to coming to Orlando, Barksdale served as the Fire Chief of Prince George’s County, Maryland, where he led more than 2,500 personnel, including sworn and volunteer firefighters. He began his firefighting career in 1987 with the Arlington County Fire Department in Virginia where he rose to the rank of Assistant Chief, and was also one of the initial responders at the Pentagon in response to the attacks on September 11, 2001. During Chief Barksdale’s tenure, his agency was dedicated to ensuring firefighters have access to mental health programs and treatment and had a strong track record of overseeing initiatives to encourage opportunities for people from all backgrounds in fire service.