Fire Chief: Arlington Virginia Open Until filled

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Fire Chief

Salary: Negotiable

Deadline: Continuous

Job Description:

Arlington is looking for an experienced, progressive senior level manager to lead its nationally known Fire Department.  The Arlington County Fire Department (ACFD) operates 10 fire stations with a $55M operating budget and 319 employees who provide services through three major programs:  (1) the Operations and Emergency Services Program (Fire/EMS) which provides emergency and non-emergency response to requests for service; (2) the Fire Prevention and Community Services Program which houses Code Enforcement, Fire and Environmental Investigations, Public Education and the Hazardous Device Team; and (3) the Business Services Program which is comprised of technical, financial, human resources and administrative support functions.The Chief is responsible for overall department strategy and direction, collaboration with other County agencies, and inter-jurisdictional/regional relationships while an Assistant Chief manages day-to-day operations through three Deputy Chiefs. The Fire Chief, who reports directly to the County Manager, provides leadership for the department by:
1  Setting and communicating a strategic vision for the department;

2  Delivering timely, cost effective and efficient all-hazard approaches to community services;

3  Assessing operations and providing the vision to examine alternative forms of service delivery that may improve responsiveness and/or enhance resource conservation;

4  Engaging citizenry to foster support, input, and prioritization of needs for service delivery;

5  Predicting or adjusting priorities and services through analysis of performance measures and other analytical data;

6  Enhancing collaboration with other County agencies on mutual issues including Police, Emergency Management, Sheriff, and Public Health and with other local, regional, and federal public safety agencies and other public sector organizations; and

7  Managing change proactively and fostering a climate that embraces change.

For information about the Fire Department follow this Fire Department link.

Selection Criteria:

The successful candidate will be a well-respected, experienced leader for a metropolitan fire department with a strong record of accomplishments and a history of collaborating with internal and external organizations to provide the highest level of proactive services. The ideal candidate will:

1  Have a supportive and motivating leadership style that motivates, inspires and engenders team building and fosters cooperative relationships within the Fire Department and with County leadership, the County Board and the community;

2  Be a progressive leader who understands modern fire suppression and prevention and emergency preparedness strategies and techniques;

3  Practice accountability and stewardship and instill pride and confidence in staff;

4  Be accessible, approachable, open minded, flexible, visible, engaging and genuinely care about department members;

5  Value, embrace and drive change, technology, process improvement and innovation;

6  Evaluate results and impacts of change on the workforce and community ensuring core services are not compromised;

7  Engender trust and credibility where “actions match words”;

8  Be an effective communicator with strong interpersonal skills;

9  Be capable of setting and communicating a strategic vision for the department and community with an understanding of how to drive the workforce toward achieving a shared common vision;

10          Mentor and value professional development and foster a work environment that motivates individuals to excel in their areas of responsibility;

11          Demonstrate cultural competency and an understanding of diversity and inclusion concerns in recruiting, retention, and selection efforts and an ability to work in a culturally and ethnically diverse community;

12          Collaborate and demonstrate an ability to build rapport with elected officials, peers, community representatives, County leadership, department staff and association leadership and build partnerships at the local, state, and federal levels to achieve the ACFD vision, to secure resources, and to advocate for department, workforce or community interests; and

13          Have a record of ethical and professional conduct that can withstand intense public scrutiny.


The successful candidate will have a background that includes a combination of education and/or experience equivalent to a Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Science, Emergency Services, or related field and considerable supervisory and management experience in a senior command role, preferably at the level of Chief or Assistant/Deputy Chief for a municipal or similar Fire Department.

The preferred candidate will have a Master’s Degree in Fire Science, Emergency Services, or related field and leadership certifications that indicate professional achievement such as National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer, Center for Public Safety Excellence Chief Fire Officer (CFO), Incident Command System (ICS) 400, Fire Officer III and Instructor III.

Professional and personal characteristics will include:

1  Knowledge of Arlington County operations and preparedness to respond to all hazards and modes of service delivery;

2  Fiscal Management experience including knowledge of budgetary needs and challenges and fiscal responsibilities of an urban Fire Department;

3  Awareness of industry concerns and challenges and professional standards;

4  Familiarity with regional concerns and challenges and the ability to command respect from area partners and to negotiate solutions or win-win approaches; and

5  Professional motivation to achieve what is in the best interest of the workforce, department and community.

Special Requirements:

Please go to to apply.  Attach a cover letter and resume to the on-line application. The submitted materials should address the areas listed in the position information section of this announcement.

Specifically your cover letter should include: a description of why you are interested in the position in Arlington County and should describe your experience in the following areas: (1) budgeting, and capital improvement; (2) labor relations; (3) leadership development and succession planning; (4) performance management especially as it relates to deployment of services and accountability; and (5) regional partnerships. Be sure to describe the size of the organization(s) you served including budget and staff; the range of services and functions you managed and to whom you reported.

Your cover letter should also describe major issues and challenges facing your current organization and your specific role in implementing policy or program changes to address those issues or challenges. Be sure to describe any significant accomplishments that you directed, led and/or implemented.

Applications and resumes will be reviewed continuously. Interviews will be scheduled with those candidates whose qualifications best fit our needs. The application process will close when the position has been filled or when a sufficient number of applications have been received.

A comprehensive reference/background check will be conducted for the top candidates and employment will be contingent upon completion of a physical exam.

 Additional Information:

The salary range is negotiable up to $210,912. Starting salary will depend upon the qualifications and experience of the candidate selected.

The Fire Chief is part of the Executive Management Accountability Program (EMAP), a pay-for-performance management system, in which Senior Executives are eligible for a negotiated salary/benefits package and are evaluated and compensated on the basis of a performance agreement linked to the County Management Plan and results achieved.

As an Employer of Choice, Arlington County offers a generous benefit package including:

1  Excellent health and dental plans, including retiree medical and dental coverage

2  Life and disability insurance

3  Retirement program that includes a defined benefit plan, an optional 457 plan, and an optional deferred retirement option plan (DROP)

4  10 paid holidays, plus generous leave program

5  Take home car

6  Alternative transportation programs, including subsidized mass transit and bike/walk benefits

7  Continuous learning program that includes tuition reimbursement

For details about our benefits please follow the County Benefits link.


Arlington, Virginia, is an attractive, well-planned community with a unique blend of vibrant, developed urban areas and quiet neighborhoods, an excellent location next to the Nation’s capital, a high living standard, and an effective, fiscally responsible, pro-active government. An urban County of about 26 square miles it also has a well-developed and valued parks and recreation network. Arlington is best known to visitors as the home of the Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery. Arlington has won recognition as an innovative, progressive and dynamic organization that is well-known for its community-driven processes with significant and meaningful opportunity for public participation and a dedication to providing for those that need assistance. Over the years, Arlington has received extensive national recognition for its forward-thinking policies and practices. Since the 1930s our community has viewed itself as a learning organization, one that strives to constantly improve for the benefit of all its citizens. That culture is infused throughout our workforce and among our citizens.

The County Board (governing body) consisting of 5 elected at large members, encourages a high level of citizen involvement in local government. Arlington has an estimated population of 212,900 and is among the most densely populated jurisdictions in the country. About 36% of residents are Hispanic, African-American, Asian or multi-racial. Arlington County public school children speak 98 languages and hail from 126 countries. More than 70% of adults have bachelor’s degrees and 36% have graduate or professional degrees.

Civic engagement is a strong value in this community. The County government continually creates effective venues for all citizens, with a special emphasis on those who are traditionally under-represented in civic processes, to become involved. This commitment to inclusive civic engagement ensures that social equity is built into the development of public priorities and policies.

The County Vision is that Arlington will be a diverse and inclusive world-class urban community with secure, attractive residential and commercial neighborhoods where people unite to form a caring, learning, participating, sustainable community in which each person is important.

For more information about Arlington County Government and the community please use this County information link.

How to Apply: The full job description and application can be found HERE.

City’s Website Click HERE

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