Michael Cato

Began career in fire service with City of Delray Beach Fire Rescue in 1975. Started as firefighter, then promoted to fire inspector in 1977, then fire marshal in 1979. Served as fire marshal until retirement in 2000. Hired as fire marshal for Estero Fire Rescue District in 2001 and served 5 years retiring again in 2006.

Charter member of the then “Florida Fire Marshals Association” chartered in 1977 at the annual Florida Fire Prevention Conference. This conference was, for approximately 35 years, under the direction and control of the Florida Division of State Fire Marshal. While serving as president of the FFMA the direction and control of the Florida Fire Prevention Conference was passed on to the Association at some point during 1982 or 1983 due to the State Auditor having an issue with moneys being carried over for upcoming conference expenses. This was with the understanding that the Association would account for the money, but the Division of State Fire Marshal would still be involved working together with the FFMA to put together the program. After a few years, this involvement became limited to presentations from the Division, but other topics, presentations and presenters became the responsibility of FFMA.

Continued to serve as Past President; on several nominations committees; legislative chair and legislative committee; and several conference committees. Lobbied in Tallahassee for several years working closely with the Division of State Fire Marshal and the Florida Fire Chiefs Association. Represented the fire service during hearings by the Florida Building Commission for the purpose of a state-wide building and fire code.

Member of NFPA since 1985, served on Members Advisory Council, and technical committees for Repair Garages and Parking Structures and the National Fire Alarm Code, Chapter on Supervising Station Fire Alarm Systems.

Selected by the FFMIA as Fire Marshal of the Year in 1999, receiving recognition from the State Fire Marshal Bill Nelson, Governor Jeb Bush and the Florida Cabinet.

Became a life member of the “Florida Fire Marshals and Inspectors Association” in 2005, later to be known as a “fellow”.

Continue to work as a consultant in the fire protection and life safety area.