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Posted on: October 12, 2020

Charlottesville appoints Dr. Hezedean Smith as Fire Chief

Dr. Hezedean Smith

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 12, 2020

Dr. Smith starts as Chief on December 1 and has served most recently as an Assistant Chief for the Orlando Fire Department


CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - Acting City Manager John Blair announces the appointment of Dr. Hezedean A. Smith as the City's Fire Chief.

Dr. Smith has been with the Orlando Fire Department since 1996 and is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force where he served as a Medical Service Specialist/EMT. In previous positions within the department, Dr. Smith was responsible for EMS operations, fire department information and technology, EMS budget oversight, 911 Communications Center, EMS grants, service delivery, ambulance accreditation, education, and training.

Dr. Smith brings over 32 years’ experience in emergency services and public safety and is recognized nationally and internationally with various credentials in public service, EMS, and the Fire Service.

“I am honored and excited to appoint Dr. Smith to lead the Charlottesville Fire Department. He will be an asset not only to the Department, but also to our City,” said Blair. “I’d like to express my appreciation to Emily Pelliccia for serving as Interim Chief since June.”

Dr. Smith earned a Doctor of Management degree in Organizational Leadership and a master’s degree in Organizational Management from University of Phoenix. He has associate degrees in Emergency Medical Services and Fire Science from Valencia College. He is also credentialed by the Center for Public Safety Excellence as a Chief Fire Officer and a Chief EMS Officer. He is a Certified Public Manager and previously completed the Executive Fire and Emergency Services Officer program at the University of Florida.

Dr. Smith is also a part-time faculty member at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Columbia Southern University and taught EMS at Valencia College for over fifteen years.

"I am happy to be invited to be part of an organization that is committed to Family, Integrity, Respect, and Excellence," said Smith. "Together we will accomplish more and continue to demonstrate our commitment to high quality service delivery and public safety readiness in Charlottesville."

"On behalf of the City of Charlottesville City Council, I would like to welcome Dr. Smith to our community," said Mayor Nikuyah Walker. "He has expressed a commitment to transformational leadership. I appreciate Dr. Smith’s thoughtful inquiry during the interview process and his ability to articulate the core values that define his leadership style. I look forward to serving the Charlottesville community with him."

Dr. Smith will report to Acting City Manager John Blair and he will start his service in the City of Charlottesville December 1, 2020.

About the Charlottesville Fire Department

The Charlottesville Fire Department operates out of three city fire stations with a staff of 95 men and women tasked with providing fire and other emergency services to residents and visitors to the City of Charlottesville. The department also provides contractual fire and emergency services support to the County of Albemarle and the University of Virginia.

The Charlottesville Fire Department has been twice accredited (2001 and 2007) by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI). In December 2019, the CFD received a superior Class 1 rating as a result of an Insurance Services Organization (ISO) analysis of the city's fire suppression services. It is one of only 74 fire departments out of more than 44,000 in the United States to hold both an ISO Class 1 and CFAI Accredited Agency Status.

Link to high resolution photo.

Media Contact
Brian Wheeler
Director of Communications
City of Charlottesville
434-970-3129
wheelerb@charlottesville.gov