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Travis Christopher Taylor was born in Jacksonville, FL in 1971. Chris had a great childhood growing up in Jacksonville and spending many summers in the greater Palatka area. He was given the opportunity to learn hunting, fishing and skiing as a child in the Ocala National Forest.

Chris Graduated from Middleburg High School in 1989, then attended Florida State College at Jacksonville where he was awarded an Associate in Arts, an Associate in Science, and Post-secondary training in Fire Fighting and Emergency Medical treatment. He worked hard to graduate from the University of North Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in History and a minor in Psychology, then worked for 12 years in a small private school in Jacksonville. When the school closed, Taylor moved to Duval County Schools as a substitute teacher. He completed his Fire Standards in 2005 and Emergency Medical Technician in 2006.

At that time, he joined the Pomona Park Volunteer Fire Department, where he was soon hired as a part time EMT and driver. By 2007, Taylor had been offered a full time job with the Palatka Fire Department. From the moment he walked in the doors he felt a true comfort. Within 2 years, he was promoted from Firefighter to the Engineer position. By 2011, he was promoted to Lieutenant on A shift; he was also entrusted with the Special Operations Coordinator position for the Palatka Special Operations Team as a liaison between the department and the State of Florida. He was soon given the project of updating and tracking all training within the department.

Chris is now a board member for the LEPC (Local Emergency Planning Committee), teaching hazardous materials response to firefighters in the North Florida region. He has worked within the City of Palatka as a Fire Safety Inspector since 2008 and has been the lead instructor for the Special Rescue classes for our local industrial partners and for fire service classes that include both career and volunteer firefighters in the region. Taylor was appointed Interim Chief on 9/18/20.

On a personal level, Chris has been married for 20 years and has two daughters. He is a certified martial arts instructor and is titled as a Master instructor under both William Cheung of Australia, and Anthony Arnett of Jacksonville, Florida; he has made martial arts a way of life. The Taylors enjoy kayaking and spending time together with their two dogs, Fred and Jack.

Christopher was officially appointed Fire Chief January 4, 2021