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.
The threat of bad weather didn’t keep visitors away from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden July 10 for the facility’s weekly Flowers After 5 event (which pairs music and food with a chance to stroll the garden) and its monthly Fidos After 5 (which allows dog owners to bring their pets with them to enjoy the evening). > Read more.
Thanks in part to a $10,000 gift from the Western Henrico Rotary Club, another bright pink Jeep modified to travel extremely rough terrain has been delivered to Midwives For Haiti so that more pregnant women in the quake-ravaged country will have access to prenatal care and a greater chance of surviving childbirth.
The funds were raised at the annual casino night held in February, club president Adam Cherry said. The Rotary Club also helped purchase the Virginia-based charity’s first pink jeep three years ago. > Read more.
Canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts soon will have a new access point to the Chickahominy River. VDOT, the James River Association and Henrico County Parks and Recreation are teaming up to establish a new site in Eastern Henrico.
The James River Association negotiated the deal with VDOT to procure official access to the area located just east of I-295 on North Airport Road in Sandston. The site includes a park-and-ride commuter lot bordering the Chickahominy River and has been an unofficial launch site used by paddlers for years. > Read more.
An eclectic array of events are taking place this weekend throughout the county. In the West End, we have the Richmond Wedding Expo, the Under the Stars Family Film Series and Henrico Theatre Company’s production of “Pump Boys and Dinettes.” In the eastern part of the county, we have a blood drive at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center, Gallmeyer Farm’s annual Sweet Corn Festival and an origami workshop at Fairfield Library. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.
Charlottesville's Bella’s Restaurant recently opened a location in Short Pump Village, at 11408 West Broad Street. The restaurant is owned by Valeria Biesnti, a native of Rome who arrived in the U.S. at age 21 and later became a U.S. citizen. With her restaurants, Bisenti has sought to create an ambiance that welcomes diners in a casual setting, like her favorites from her hometown. > Read more.
A Henrico native will appear on the third episode of the Travel Channel's new grilling competition series “American Grilled.”
The episode, filmed in Charlottesville, will premier July 16 at 9 p.m. and feature Glen Allen-native Rex Holmes, a patent lawyer who operates http://SavoryReviews.com a blo,g centered around tasty recipes and BBQ.
The show features hardcore grilling enthusiasts from across the country going head-to-head for a chance to compete for a $10,000 cash prize and bragging rights when they are crowned the ultimate “grill master.” > Read more.
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