Fire Chief Recruitment Profile

Fairfax County’s Fire and Rescue Department invites your interest in Job# 12-1688, the position of


About the Fire and Rescue Department



Provide the highest quality services to protect the lives, property and environment of our community. Dedicated to being the best community-focused fire and rescue department, ensuring a safe and secure environment for all.


Professional Excellence  •  Health and Safety  •  Diversity  •  Teamwork and Shared Leadership  •  Effective Communications  •  Integrity  •  Community Service and Involvement  •  Innovation



Since its humble beginning in July 1949, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department has evolved from ten skilled drivers to a complex agency responsible for meeting the emergency needs of over one million residents. Today, nearly 1,400 uniformed men and women operate from 37 fire and rescue stations strategically positioned throughout Fairfax County. Additionally, about 180 civilians provide key support functions from headquarters and other locations. Holding steadfast to its Vision, Mission and the Core Values, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department trains firefighters to provide a full complement of fire suppression, technical rescue, swift water rescue, hazardous materials, and emergency medical services, including basic and advanced life support and emergency medical transportation. FRD is complimented by a large force of volunteer firefighters. 

With an adopted budget of $149,627,702 ($170,176,454 in expenditures and $20,548,752 in revenues), the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department operates on three separate 24-hour rotation shifts. Each shift is led by a Deputy Fire Chief. The county is separated geographically into seven battalions, each managed by a battalion management team of a Battalion Fire Chief and EMS Captain. Fire suppression personnel and paramedics work in tandem to ensure the highest level of safety and care possible for the residents of Fairfax County.

The Fire Marshal’s Office investigates fires, bombings and hazardous material releases. The department also supports regional, national, and international emergency response operations during disaster situations through maintaining and supporting the Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Team (Virginia Task Force 1), the National Capital Region Incident Management Team, and other response groups.

Additionally, FRD provides critical non-emergency services such as educating the public on fire and personal safety issues, providing public information and prevention education, and enforcing fire prevention and life safety codes in all public buildings. FRD also operates a number of support services and facilities to ensure personnel are trained and prepared to perform the mission. The Fire and Rescue Academy provides firefighter, rescue, and emergency medical training and conducts citizen emergency response training. Two apparatus shops are staffed to ensure emergency response vehicles are safe and service-ready.

FRD is dedicated to being the best community-focused fire and rescue department and ensuring a safe and secure environment for all residents and visitors. FRD relies heavily on its partnership with the Department of Public Safety and Communication (DPSC), 911 Call Center, and the Occupational Health Center. Both of these departments are renowned nationally and internationally for their successful responses to medical and non-medical emergencies. FRD also works very closely with the Department of Family Services, and the Department of Code Compliance to provide a safe environment for county residents.

Worldwide Disaster Response

The Fire and Rescue Department’s Virginia Task Force 1 (VATF-1), a premier humanitarian disaster response resource team governed through federal partnerships with United States Agency for International Development, (USAID), Department of Homeland Security, (DHS), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, (FEMA) is ready to be deployed nationally and internationally to natural and man-made disasters on short notice. They have been deployed to Armenia, Kenya, Turkey, Taiwan, Iran, Haiti, Oklahoma City, The Pentagon, and numerous other disaster locations within the US and abroad.

About the Position

The Chief plans, coordinates and directs the overall operation of the Fire and Rescue Department, including fire suppression, hazardous material abatement, emergency medical service, fire prevention, technical rescue, and administrative and support services. In addition, the Chief serves as the Fire Marshal for Fairfax County, and provides the leadership and necessary support to address emerging trends in theNational Capital Region.

Other roles and responsibilities of this position are to prepare budget estimates and control expenditures of all departmental funds; respond to major alarms or other emergencies, and operations to achieve a concerted effort in the delivery of fire and rescue services; review all operational procedures and developmental policies, and reviews incidents reports; maintain a working relationship with other fire protection agencies within the Washington metropolitan area, and the Commonwealth of Virginia; develop mutual aid agreements, and memoranda of agreement with regional and/or federal agencies; maintain and manage a relationship between the Department and the Volunteer Departments as a support segment of the organization.

The Chief of Fire and Rescue is a county department head and is appointed by, and serves at the pleasure of the County Executive and reports directly to the Deputy County Executive. Appointment of the Fire Chief is recommended by the County Executive and must be approved by the Board of Supervisors.

Leadership Style

The successful candidate will be knowledgeable and professionally competent in all areas of public safety to include:

  • The capacity to work in partnership with a broad spectrum of stakeholders, and build and sustain those partnerships.
  • Proven ability to build and sustain working relationships with elected officials.
  • The ability to identify, analyze and solve problems.
  • The ability to foresee and plan for emerging trends and direction in technology, safety, and regulatory requirements.
  • Extensive and demonstrated experience in working with various Boards, Citizen Advisory Councils/Groups, and other constituencies doing business with the county.
  • Proven ability to manage an operation within a large and complex organization, and to work collaboratively with other county departments.
  • The ability to assure the integrity of the work products, processes, and procedures to safeguard the county's assets and its natural resources.
  • Proven ability to work with elected officials and business leaders to affect change for positive outcomes.
  • Flexibility and the ability to work under pressure or tight deadlines.
  • Exceptional oral and written communication skills included the demonstrated ability to research and analyze information, compose documents and present data in a clear and concise manner to appropriate audiences, to include community groups and the media.
  • The ability to instill confidence and professional pride in subordinates, and the skill to recognize and use staff abilities to the fullest and build successful teams.

Challenges and Opportunities

The incoming Fire Chief will have management oversight of the following challenges and opportunities:

  • Co-host the 2015 World Police and Fire Fighter Games.
  • Ensure financial stability in a downward economy.
  • Develop resources to meet the demands of a thriving urban/suburban community.
  • Establish, develop and maintain partnerships and good working relationships with other local public agencies (regional and state).

Qualifying Experience and Education


This position requires ten years of paid fire service experience, including two years of paid service as a senior manager in a large municipal fire and rescue department (i.e., as commander of field operations, fire prevention, support services, or administrative services, comparable to Fairfax County's Deputy Fire Chief; or as a second-in-command of a large municipal fire and rescue department, comparable to Fairfax County's Assistant Fire Chief). Senior management experience with emergency medical treatment and transport is required. Possession of current certification in the following: EMT-B, Haz-Mat First Responder, CPR, and AED.


Graduation from an accredited college or university with a bachelor's degree in fire science, public administration, or business administration.

Compensation and Benefits

Salary is open within an established range depending on the qualifications and relevant experience of the selected candidate. The county offers an excellent fringe benefits package, including separate vacation and sick leave banks, 12.5 paid holidays per year, 16 hours of paid volunteer time, retirement, health and life insurance, flexible spending accounts (medical and dependent care), dental, vision, long-term disability, long-term care plan, eligibility for deferred compensation, child day care, and telework options.


Submit your resume online through Fairfax County's AIMS system. Refer to Job# 12-1688 when applying. Deadline for applications is November 30, 2012.

Click here to print a PDF version of this profile.

About Fairfax County, Virginia

Fairfax County is one of the premier centers of commerce and technology in the United States. It is among the highest income counties in the county. Located just west of the nation’s capital, Fairfax County is the most populous jurisdiction in the Commonwealth of Virginia, with 13.5% of Virginia’s population, and it is a great place to live, work and do business.

Business advantages include:

  • A large and exceptionally qualified workforce;
  • Easy access to major airports;
  • Close proximity to the U.S. government--the world's largest buyer of goods and services;
  • World-class universities and research centers;
  • Internet backbone connectivity;
  • Attractive, affordable and flexible office space; and
  • Tech-savvy business services.

County residents enjoy exceptional quality of life attractions, including:

  • Top-quality public schools and community services;
  • Cosmopolitan living, with a dazzling array of shopping, dining, cultural and entertainment choices just minutes from home or office; and
  • Plenty of sports, recreation, sightseeing and other leisure opportunities.

Top-Ranked Local Government

A 10-member Board of Supervisors governs Fairfax County. Supervisors are elected from each of nine magisterial districts, and a chairman is elected at-large. Fairfax County government consistently achieves high praise for fiscal stability, quality service and technological sophistication. As a result, the county businesses and residents enjoy outstanding schools, parks, libraries, police and fire protection, and other exceptional services and amenities without the burden of high tax rates.

With over $3.6 billion in general fund revenues, Fairfax County maintains an exceptional AAA/AAA/Aaa bond rating. Only eight states, 37 counties (including Fairfax), and 37 cities hold this highly coveted Triple A rating from the three leading rating agencies--Moody's Investor Services, Standard and Poor's, and Fitch Investors Service. Fairfax County has been nationally recognized as a leader in government performance measurement, garnering a Certificate of Excellence--the highest level of recognition--from the International City and County Management Association in 2009 and 2010.

Fairfax County has an excellent school system and is a national leader in K-12 public education. The public school system is one of the highest-rated school systems in America. Fairfax County is also a leader in higher education. The campuses of five major colleges and universities, including the main campus of George Mason University, are located in Fairfax County. Northern Virginia Community College--the largest community college in the Commonwealth of Virginia--has two campuses in Fairfax County.


Contact Fairfax County: Phone, Email or Twitter | Main Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
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