Disney World’s fire department gets rebranded

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LAKE BUENA VISTA — Disney World’s fire department has a new look.

The Gov. Ron DeSantis’ tourism oversight district approved Wednesday a rebranding of what was previously known as the Reedy Creek Fire Department.

The agency is now called the District Fire Department. Fire officials unveiled a new logo in January, which received official approval Wednesday from the district’s board.

“It’s a wonderful new name and logo,” said Charbel Barakat, acting board chairman.

The Fire Department was one of the last remnants of the former, decades-long name of the special district. Last year, state lawmakers changed the name from the Reedy Creek Improvement District to the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, part of an overhaul led by DeSantis.

Created in 1967, the 39-square-mile special taxing district provides fire protection, roads and other government services for Disney World and nearby properties. For decades, Disney effectively self-governed the district by electing the board’s five members. Last year, the Florida Legislature upended that arrangement and gave the governor the power to appoint the board members.

Also on Wednesday, Board members welcomed a new administrator, Stephanie Kopelousos, who served as DeSantis’ legislative affairs director and then worked on his presidential campaign. Before moving to the governor’s office, she served as Clay County manager and secretary of the Florida Department of Transportation.

She is replacing Glen Gilzean in the $400,000-a-year administrator job. DeSantis appointed Gilzean, another political ally, to serve as the interim Orange County supervisor of elections. Gilzean said in a television interview he intended to resign as the district’s administrator, but district officials have not provided his resignation letter or any other terms of his exit.

Board Chairman Martin Garcia also resigned from his leadership post. DeSantis appointed Orlando businessman Craig Mateer to the board, but a new chairman has not been selected.