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Loudoun County, Virginia

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Systemwide Fire Chief – Loudoun County, Virginia


The Position

Loudoun County is seeking an experienced senior level professional to lead as the Systemwide Fire Chief. Fire and rescue services in Loudoun County are provided through a combination system managed by the Systemwide Fire Chief, which includes nearly 700 full-time employees and approximately 900 active administrative and operational volunteer personnel. The Chief oversees the system which includes 19 stations providing a full range of emergency and non-emergency response to the citizens of Loudoun County and seven incorporated towns. By way of reciprocal mutual aid agreements, services are also provided to Loudoun County’s neighboring jurisdictions. Career personnel from Loudoun County Fire and Rescue (LCFR) and the volunteers serve side-by-side in the Loudoun County Combined Fire-Rescue System (LC-CFRS) and together respond to over 29,000 incidents annually, of which 75-80% are for emergency medical services. For FY2018, the Department has an adopted budget of over $83 million. The Chief is retiring after serving in the department since 1984, and as Chief since 2010.

The Chief is responsible for directing the operations and managing the administrative functions of Loudoun County’s combined Fire and Rescue System and overseeing the management of the department. The Chief establishes current and long-range plans and objectives as well as Department procedures and protocols subject to approval of the County Board of Supervisors. The Chief has six direct reports including the Assistant Chief of Support Services and Volunteer Administration, Assistant Chief of Operations, Deputy Chief/Fire Marshal, Manager of Budget and Administrative Services, Internal Investigator, and the Public Information Officer. The Department is organized into eight divisions: Administrative Services, Volunteer Coordination, Fire Marshal’s Office, Communications and Support Services, Operations, Emergency Medical Services, Fire-Rescue Training, and Personnel and Asset Management. The governance structure of the system includes an Executive Committee with Fire Operations, Emergency Services, and Administrative Operations Committees with volunteer and career officers serving together. The Executive Committee advises the Systemwide Fire Chief on policy and operational issues.

The following is a current organizational chart of the Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Department:

The Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Department, in conjunction with leadership from its volunteer component, provides a full range of emergency response services, including:

  • Hazardous materials mitigation
  • Administration and delivery of Fire, EMS & related training
  • Emergency response
  • Fire prevention, public education, & community outreach programs
  • Fire investigation
  • Swift water rescue
  • E-911 Emergency Communications Center
  • Wildland firefighting
  • Public Education & Community Outreach Programs
  • Coordination & delivery of fire, EMS & related training
  • Coordination and mitigation of large-scale emergencies & disasters utilizing an all-hazards approach
  • Volunteer recruitment & retention

Form of Government

Loudoun County operates under the “Traditional Form” of county government, the most commonly used form in the Commonwealth. The Board of Supervisors is responsible for the legislative and administrative affairs of the County. The Board of Supervisors appoints a County Administrator to oversee the day-to-day administration on behalf of the Board. In addition, elected officials are responsible for the conduct and administration of various aspects of the County’s affairs and include the Commissioner of the Revenue, Treasurer, Clerk of the Circuit Court, Commonwealth’s Attorney, and Sheriff.

Loudoun County Fire & Rescue

Loudoun County Fire and Rescue delivers essential emergency and non-emergency Fire and EMS services from 19 strategically located stations, responding to more than 29,000 incidents annually. The Department, as part of the Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue System (LC-CFRS), provides administrative, operational, and logistical support for the County’s 15 volunteer fire rescue companies, the LC-CFRS Executive Committee, and its governance structure. This includes the facilitation and delivery of high quality certification and continuing education programs at a centralized training facility.

The Department is the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) for the County’s 9-1-1 system and maintains the County’s emergency communications. The Fire Marshal’s Office has a multi-faceted mission including fire prevention; life safety education and community risk reduction; investigation of fires, explosions, hazardous materials releases; and oversight of the bomb squad.

Loudoun County Fire Rescue continues to achieve success as it meets the challenges of increasing demands of a growing community and expanding County infrastructure. Through several FY2017 budget enhancements, the Department has successfully improved the quality of life and safety of the citizens who live, work, and travel through Loudoun County. The enhancements upgraded operational capabilities and bolstered support of the Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue System.

Loudoun County will be opening a new Fire and Rescue Station in FY2018 (Kirkpatrick Farms Fire and Rescue Station) which will be staffed by a 24-hour career engine, tanker, and EMS unit. The adopted staffing for this station (39.20 FTE) represents an enhanced minimum staffing model, consistent with nationally-recognized standards. This model is the first step in a multi-year effort positioning the Department to begin modernizing its staffing. This enhanced staffing of Kirkpatrick Farms Fire-Rescue Station represents the Department’s interest in transitioning from a mostly rural response model to a suburban community response model. The maturation and modernization of the system, combined with the requirements of a more suburban response model, will require policy discussions with the Board of Supervisors over the next fiscal years.

Combined Career & Volunteer System

Loudoun has a long history of volunteerism. Throughout the 1980s and much of the 1990s, Loudoun’s fire and rescue services were provided by volunteers supplemented by career personnel. Over time, the County’s rapid growth and increased demand for service coupled with fewer volunteers available during daytime hours necessitated hiring additional career personnel. Today, fire and rescue services in Loudoun are provided through a combination system that includes LCFR and 15 independent volunteer fire and rescue companies, consisting of approximately 900 active administrative and operational volunteer personnel. These personnel operate out of 19 fire/rescue stations across the County.

Experience and Education

Any combination of education and experience equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in Fire, Emergency Medical Services, Public Administration, or a public safety related field, with twelve (12) years of directly related experience. Experience must include at least two years of incident command level experience managing multiple station operations. Preferred qualifications include a master’s degree, assistant or deputy chief experience in a fire rescue organization, and a demonstrated record of success in the following key areas: overseeing complex projects and/or operations; serving as a trusted advisor and providing data-driven solutions, working effectively with elected officials, coaching and mentoring managers and key staff, and working collaboratively with internal and external stakeholders.

Preferred professional certifications and/or trainings include the following: Executive Fire Officer Certification, NFPA Fire Officer III, NFPA Fire Instructor II, OSHA Hazardous Materials Operations, and NREMT or Virginia EMT (or other state equivalent within one year of employment). Experience in jurisdictions that have the following are also preferred: a combined system with volunteer and career personnel; fast-growing jurisdiction; service area that includes both sparsely and densely populated areas.

The selected candidate is required to obtain a valid Virginia State driver’s license within 60 days of employment and is subject to an annual NFPA 1582 physical.

The Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate is an established leader and professional in the field of fire safety and emergency management services who demonstrates experience in and knowledge of fire suppression, EMS, complex incident management, disaster preparedness, fire prevention and education programs, hazardous materials response, volunteer recruitment and retention, and homeland security.

Ideal candidates will appreciate and have a strong understanding of the value of a combined career and volunteer staffed system and demonstrate the ability to successfully manage and lead within this unique environment. Strong candidates will be forward thinking, with the ability to develop innovative solutions to complex and diverse problems. The next Chief will also be able to manage in a system with diverse service areas that include rural, suburban, and more densely populated areas with two new Metro stations under construction.

The Chief should have strong employee relations skills and be approachable, instill trust, and work proactively to address issues within the system. The Chief should model integrity, a strong work ethic, and ensure fair and equitable treatment of employees within the department and throughout the system.

The Chief must be politically astute and be a strong communicator both verbally and in writing. The ideal candidate will be comfortable conveying complex ideas and goals, as well as the Department’s mission and initiatives to staff, elected officials, community members, stakeholders, and the media.

The next Chief must be a persuasive, confident leader with a clear understanding of complex employment issues and the ability to be firm and fair. The ideal candidate will be a team player who is collaborative and supportive in serving as a member of the County’s leadership team and instrumental in influencing and supporting the culture of the organization. He or she will lead with a heightened sense of emotional intelligence, build trust between the varied interests of the career and volunteer component, and address organizational issues that get in the way of a high performing combination system.

The Community

Loudoun County, Virginia, “DC’s Technology Corridor,” is an innovative, globally competitive community known for its favorable business environment, exceptional quality of life, and strong sense of community. Located in northern Virginia, approximately 45 minutes northwest of Washington, D.C., Loudoun County is a growing and thriving community of more than 393,000 residents (2018 est.). Loudoun County is the third largest county in Virginia and one of the fastest growing counties in the US with 19.7% population growth since 2010. At $125,003, the County had the highest median household income in the US for jurisdictions greater than 65,000 persons (2015). The County has the lowest unemployment rate in the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Statistical Area, and the Commonwealth of Virginia at 3.2% (2016).

Loudoun County’s economy is diverse and includes representative businesses from telecommunications, aerospace, biomedical research, defense, higher education, and viniculture, in addition to a thriving small business community. The County’s eastern area is mainly suburban in character while its western area is more rural, including small towns, horse farms, and more than 160,000 acres of well-preserved open space. Dulles International Airport, a major facility serving nearly 30 million passengers every year, is in the southern part of the County. Additionally, the Washington D.C. Metro subway is currently expanding into Loudoun County with the extension of the Silver Line – scheduled for completion in FY2020 – which will allow residents to travel conveniently into and around the Washington, D.C. area.


The expected hiring range is $160,000 – $190,000 depending on qualifications, with an excellent benefit package. As part of the total compensation package, employees of Loudoun County enjoy a robust benefits package. For more information go to

How to Apply

Apply Online

Applications will be accepted electronically by The Novak Consulting Group. Apply at and submit just one document (Word or PDF) that includes a cover letter, resume with salary history and list of 3-5 professional references. Open until filled with first review of applications on March 16, 2018.


Please direct questions to Catherine Tuck Parrish or Jennifer Reichelt at or 513-221-0500.

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