FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 19, 2022
Deputy Chief Michael Thomas Appointed Interim Fire Chief of the Charlottesville Fire Department
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – Interim City Manager Michael C. Rogers has appointed Michael L. Thomas to serve as Interim Fire Chief for the Charlottesville Fire Department.
Interim City Manager Michael C. Rogers has appointed Michael L. Thomas to lead the Charlottesville Fire Department (CFD) wherein Chief Dr. Hezedean Smith leaves the department for a position in Florida. Thomas has over three decades of Fire & EMS service experience and recently joined the department after retiring from the Lynchburg Fire Department. Chief Thomas has been with CFD since June 2022, serving as the Deputy Chief of Community Risk Reduction. He will assume command of the fire department effective October 21, 2022.
With over three decades of professional experience, Chief Thomas holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and an Associate Degree in Fire Science. He holds certifications as a Fire Inspector, Fire Investigator, Certified LEO, Incident Safety Officer, has attended the National Fire Academy, and is currently enrolled in ICMA’s (International City/County Management Association) Professional Development Academy.
Interim City Manager Michael C. Rogers stated that he was delighted to appoint Interim Fire Chief Thomas because of his 35 years of experience and embrace of 21st century firefighting principles that have been adopted by the department. As Interim Fire Chief, Thomas will not only ensure uninterrupted continuity of the overall department functions; he will continue to oversee the Community Risk Reduction section, which includes Accreditation, Internal Affairs, the Fire Marshal's Office, Technology, FOIA, PIO, Planning, and the department's Data Analyst.
As CFD continues its transition, the department will remain focused on staffing (diversity, equity, and inclusion), continued reduction of overtime, mental health needs of members, equity in EMS, and providing excellent fire service delivery to all 19 neighborhood communities of Charlottesville.
The 21st-century principles adopted by the Charlottesville Fire Department will continue to be the cornerstone in ensuring the highest level of all-hazards service delivery.
Chief Thomas can be reached at his office at (434)-970-3528 or by cell at (434) 906-4225.
Public Safety Information Officer
City of Charlottesville