The City of Virginia Beach, VA (population 450,000) is a AAA rated, independent City established in 1963 by the merger of Princess Anne County and the City of Virginia Beach. It is the largest city in Virginia and has a land area of 310 square miles, 51.3 of which are inland waterways, bays, and estuaries. It is also consistently one of the safest metropolitan cities in the country when compared to cities over 300,000 in population. The city is the home of Naval Air Station Oceana Naval Jet Base, Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek/Fort Story (joint army/navy) and Camp Pendleton (state military base for National Guard training).

The Fire Chief of the Virginia Beach Fire Department (VBFD) directs a complex department covering a wide variety of interrelated public safety initiatives. The Fire Chief is responsible for the proactive prevention of fires, disasters, and other related emergencies that affect the city and region; serves on a variety of City Teams charged with improving the service delivery of public safety and other programs aimed at building a Community for a Lifetime; and develops and carries out the goals and objectives designed by the City Council. The Fire Chief uses feedback and input from throughout the organization and region to provide recommendations to the City Manager on emergency management programs/policy innovations, changes, and enhancements; and represents the City on Fire and Emergency Management related issues with external agencies and the media. 

The Virginia Beach Fire Department is a CPSE Accredited and ISO 1 Fire agency that provides service to over 460,000 residents of the City. The department operates from twenty (20) fire stations with over 500 operational and civilian personnel providing over 44,000 emergency responses annually (2020-2025 strategic plan) and supported by an annual budget of over $50 million. As a City Manager appointee, this position serves at the pleasure of the City Manager and is not considered part of the merit service as defined in City Code, section 2-75.

In seeking to fill this position, the City is emphasizing an extensive background and experience in the fire and EMS fields as well as strong leadership and team building capacity.  The following list provides the attributes a candidate must have to be successful in working for the City of Virginia Beach:  

  • A bachelor’s degree in Fire Science, Public Administration, Government Operations, Business Management, or a related field.  A master’s degree in Fire Science, Public Administration, Government Operations, Business Management, or a similar program and 6 years management experience; or higher-level education and experience equivalent to 12 years in fields utilizing the knowledge, skills, and abilities listed below, including 5 years at the program management or administrator level. Possessing the designation of Executive Fire Officer (NFA), Chief Fire Officer (CPSE) or similar certifications is also preferred qualifications.
  • Extensive knowledge of the theory and practice of modern fire suppression operation, overhaul, hydraulics, equipment use, and salvage, theory and practice of modern fire prevention, inspection, arson detection, and suppression systems. Extensive knowledge of city policies, procedures and general operation, theory and practice of modern public administration, modern theory and practice of supervision and management techniques, and emergency management procedures in dealing with local, state, and federal emergencies. Basic knowledge of the theory and practice of modern emergency medical medicine at the basic and advanced level. Thorough knowledge of local government organization and operations. Knowledge of federal, state, and local laws pertaining to all phases of WMD, Fire Prevention, and Operations. 
  • The successful candidate will also have these skills: work force planning, organizing and coordinating the work of subordinates in carrying out departmental objectives under extreme environmental conditions (heat and cold); commanding large scale, complex emergency situations involving local, regional, and federal assets; negotiating with employee and management groups; making formal presentations to city officials, department staff, and the public; setting goals and objectives, developing and maintaining effective working relationships with employees, supervisors, managers, city officials, the media, other agencies, and the general public; motivating all levels of staff to be pro-active and participatory in recognizing needed change, and developing and implementing changes, supervising the work and evaluating staff performance; counseling, coaching, and mentoring with individuals and groups. 
  • An innovative, collaborative, and experienced fire service professional with demonstrated public safety leadership experience and successes who also excels in the areas of strategic planning, management, interpersonal communication, emergency management, fire prevention and community risk reduction, and customer service.
  • Demonstrated success in the areas of team building and working within a similar department structure. 
  • Demonstrated ability to be transparent, objective, adaptable, flexible, and visible along with being relationship-oriented and can build trust with both internal and external stakeholders.
  • Participative and engaging communicator that has the ability to bring fresh ideas and vision to the organization, with a versatile approach to interacting with the community, city officials, staff and other stakeholders.
  • A person that understands the need for, and how to use, data for problem solving, community risk reduction efforts, and effective community education and engagement.

The salary range for this position is $122,737 – $190,242.  A generous benefit and retirement package is also offered by the city. 

Candidates must apply by August 31, 2022, with resume, cover letter and contact information for five work-related references to to the attention of John Storm, Vice President, GovHR USA, 630 Dundee Road, #225, Northbrook, IL 60062. Tel:  (847)309-9403. Electronic applications are required.  The City of Virginia Beach is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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Application Deadline: August 31, 2022

Posted: 2022-09-21

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