Karl K. Thompson serves the citizens and visitors of Florida as the Fire Marshal for Pasco County. He previously was employed as the Chief Engineer for the Division of the State Fire Marshal, Bureau of Fire Prevention.
Karl entered the fire service in Montgomery County, Maryland in February of 1972 as a volunteer firefighter. He graduated from Montgomery Community College in Rockville, Maryland with an Associate of Arts in Fire Science in 1978 and received an Associate of Applied Science in Heating, Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Ventilation Technology from Northern Virginia Community College. He completed a Bachelor of Science degree at Barry University in 1988 and went on to earn a Masters of Public Administration at the University of Central Florida graduating in 1991.
While in the United States Coast Guard, he moved around between Maryland, Virginia and Texas joining several community volunteer fire departments and eventually relocating to Pasco County, Florida where he joined the Florida Fire Service as a career firefighter in 1980. In May 1981, he left Pasco County and served with Brevard County Fire Rescue for 26 years as a firefighter, a company officer, staff officer fire inspector, command officer, and retired as the County’s Assistant Fire Marshal/Chief Fire Inspector. While with Brevard County, he was a member of the Special Operations/Hazardous Materials Team and a certified paramedic. After retiring from Brevard County he worked for the Tennessee State Fire Marshal and then returned to Florida in 2008 when he joined the Division of the State Fire Marshal.
He has attained certification from the Florida State Fire Marshal as a Fire Code Administrator, Fire Investigator I & II, Fire Inspector I & II, Fire Service Instructor III, Firefighter II, and Fire Officer. Additionally, he holds certification as a Certified Fire Protection Specialist by the National Fire Protection Association, Fire Marshal (FM) designation through the Center for Public Safety Excellence and a member designation in the Institution of Fire Engineers. He has completed the requirements and achieved National Board of Fire Service Professional Qualifications certifications for Fire Officer I & II, Fire Instructor I & II, Fire Inspector I & II and Plans Examiner and is certified by the International Code Council as a Building Inspector and Mechanical Inspector
Karl was an adjunct faculty member for the Florida State Fire College, Indian River Community College and Brevard Community College. He instructed at the firefighter, company officer, fire inspector and command officer levels. He was also involved in the teaching of special operation/hazardous material responders and fire science chemistry.
Karl serves on the National Fire Protection Association committees: Guide for the Evaluation of Fire Risk Assessments (NFPA 551), Standard for Pre-Incident Planning (NFPA 1620), Fire Officer Professional Qualifications (NFPA Standard 1021), and Guide to the Fire Safety Concepts Tree (NFPA 550). He is a member of the Portable / Pre-Engineered Fire Extinguishing Systems Exam Development Committee for the ICC. He is a member of the National Association of State Fire Marshals Model Codes Committee. His memberships include FFMIA, NFPA, ICC, IFMA, IFE, BOAF and NFA Alumni.