Deputy fire chief retiring after nearly 40 years with division

After almost 40 years working with Henrico County Fire and 10 years serving as the operations chief, Henrico Deputy Fire Chief Richard McClure is preparing to retire officially from the department.

On July 1, McClure will formally end his extensive career with the department.

McClure began his involvement with Henrico County Fire in 1973. Since then, he has worked his way up the ranks from a volunteer to become the second person in command of the entire department.

“My dad worked [in firefighting]," McClure said. "That’s basically all I knew from the time I was a little kid - being associated with the fire department. From the time I was 15, I signed up to be a volunteer here.”

McClure recalled several memorable moments during the course of his lengthy career, which included helping to extinguish the large fire at VCU a few years ago that eventually spread to a surrounding neighborhood.

Over time, McClure witnessed Henrico Fire’s increasing involvement with the emergency medical services field and noted that he positively contributed to this change.

“I was lucky enough to be the assistant operations chief during our big growth in the EMS field over the last several years," he said. "I was able there for a while to be very successful in adding a number of ambulances to our fleet."

Aside from his high-ranking position with Henrico Fire, McClure is also the current president of the Old Dominion EMS Alliance and Metro Richmond EMS and serves on the Stadium Advisory board. Despite his retirement, McClure said that he will continue to remain as an active member of those organizations.

On the day of his retirement, McClure will become the owner of Calhoun’s Country Store.

“I will change the name to the Hunton General Store, and I’m going to greatly enhance the offerings of the little store and hopefully turn it into a community place where people come and hang out and solve the world’s problems,” he said.

McClure said that the most fulfilling aspect of working with the department is that it gave him the opportunity to reach out and serve the community during times of distress.

“We tend to only become involved when they’re at their worst moments. Being able to interact and make a difference in the people’s life is pretty rewarding,” he said.

McClure has encouraged others who work with Henrico Fire to uphold the division's strong reputation by continuing to provide outstanding customer service to the members of the community.

“We have gone great lengths to preach excellent customer service. Having been an operations chief for 10 years, you get a lot of compliments and very few complaints,” he said.
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Sacred Heart Catholic Church, located at 1400 Perry St. in Richmond’s Manchester neighborhood, will hold its 9th annual Latino Festival from noon to 10 p.m. The street festival celebrates the vibrant Latin culture of many of the parish families from Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Cuba and other Central and South American countries. Highlights include authentic cuisine, live entertainment, a performance by students of The Latin Ballet, raffle prizes, bounce houses and face painting for children, a mechanical bull ride for adults and the popular Miss Reinita contest for girls aged 6-11. Admission is free but guests are asked to bring a non-perishable food item for the parish food pantry. For details, call 232-8964. Full text

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